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SISTER2sister: Shining A Light On Australia’s Most Neglected Girls

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This week marks the launch of an inspiring new song and music video release, Illuminate, created to shine a light on the issues facing disadvantaged girls in our own backyard, and in support of charity, SISTER2sister.

A collaboration of passion by Grammy shortlisted music duo, Spare Pages, the song calls out to Australians to look at the alarming reality of neglect and abuse affecting thousands of Australian teenage girls.

Here our writer Jules Allen talks about the new initiative and below is more details about the new video release and how you can support the charity:

I’m often asked what inspired me to become the person I am. What made me commit 20 years of my life to helping young people at risk, both professionally and in my private life. When I was 15 years old, and a young person in crisis myself, a wonderful woman entered my world. She was a Social Worker and she took the time to listen. Until then I had never felt heard and, therefore, never felt understood. Furthermore, and regardless of what I said and how bad I thought I was she seemed to like me and believe that I was capable. I remember watching her drive away one day after dropping me off and thinking ‘I’m going to be just like her when I am older.

Since then I have fostered 32 children, most of them teenagers and have worked with young people in crisis for 20 years. The impact this lady had on me was clearly life changing. In my line of work I have come across many charities doing their thing to best meet the needs of marginalised kids at risk. None have turned my head or caught my attention quite like the SISTER2sister charity. I am embarrassed by my ignorance as I knew little about this amazing organisation until today. Their current illuminate program absolutely nails it when it comes to, not only highlighting the key issues affecting teen girls at risk, but providing a solution that works.

SISTER2sister: Shining A Light On Australia's Most Neglected Girls

The SISTER2sister program trains female mentors to work one on one with young girls at risk. In other words, they provide young girls with a saviour, similar to the one I had. On their website they mention that 1 in 4 girls will experience abuse of some kind by the time they are 18. In my experience it is closer to 1 in 3 and that’s just the ones we hear about. With shifts being made in equality in many areas of society, these statistics seem to be stagnant. Why? Because we are now experiencing generational abuse where the perceived norm is handed down in families. The only way to shatter this cycle is to bring in an outside party to challenge the stereotype and offer an alternative. Kids do not learn through what they are told but rather what they are shown.

What really stood out to me about SISTER 2 sister is that they didn’t skirt around the issues that are really affecting young girls, such as self-harm. The illuminate project’s messaging was age appropriate and not patronizing in its tone. Young people can see straight through us when we come from place that is not congruent with what is really going on in their worlds and we lose them instantly.

Given the impact one person had on my life I will never underestimate the power of a well -trained mentor in the life of a desperate teen. I commend SISTER2sister for getting it right. With suicide now the leading cause of death for our young people, don’t underestimate for a second the lives that are being saved here.

I urge you to support this cause. This issue is in our own backyard and thanks to these guys, so is the solution. You never know, they may just be on hand when someone you love, a daughter, niece or grand-daughter needs a helping hand.

More info here: www.theilluminateproject.com.au supported by NIVEA

SISTER2sister: Shining A Light On Australia's Most Neglected Girls

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE VIDEO AND HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT SISTER2sister

Hollywood actress, Monique Coleman (High School Musical), commissioned poet and one of the 100 most influential women in the world (Forbes Top 100 Women list), Azure Antoinette, and local songstress and The Voice AU contestant, Emily Rex, have come together to help Australian charity, SISTER2sister shine a light on the plight of Australia’s most marginalised teenage girls, with The Illuminate Project.

The Illuminate Project is an inspiring song and music video that spotlights the harsh realities facing the many disadvantaged young women in our own backyard and the empowering SISTER2sister mentoring program that encourages these young women to tap into their limitless potential.

Fresh from the Grammy’s music duo Spare Pages were delighted to collaborate with SISTER2Sister to bring to life the inspired program. Spare Pages’ own story was founded on a mentor relationship with The Voice AU’s Emily Rex reaching out to poet Azure Antoinette (who has worked with Maria Shriver and Oprah) to forge a new genre in music – SubSOUL, which is a combination of lyric, melody and poetry.

Upon hearing about The Illuminate Project it didn’t take long for Hollywood star and UN Youth Champion, Monique Coleman to get on board as the director of the music video.

Presale of Illuminate is now available on iTunes http://apple.co/2lsX7XD with all proceeds going to the SISTER2Sistercharity. The song and music video will officially launch on Monday 6 March.

Written by Jules Allen

Jules Allen is a former MasterChef contestant and a single mother with four children who has been a foster mother to 29 children over the past 15 years.

Jules considers herself as an ‘earth mother’. With four kids: two sons, Jay and Ishy (16 and 17), daughters Elisha (21) and India (18). Her family is a blend of her own, adopted and foster children.

The importance of good food in healing damaged lives is paramount to Jules, and she does this by raising awareness through school talks around the country and encouraging the next generation to do what they can to make a difference.

Jules is an ambassador for Meals On Wheels - an organisation legendary across Australia for its work in providing nutritious meals on a daily basis to those in need.

Her contribution to foster care and child protection, her charity work for many organisations, including helping rebuild Women’s and Children’s refuge in the Soloman Islands, and her ambassador roles for National Adoption Awareness, Foster Care Australia, the Pjama Foundation and Brookfarm, were recently recognised by the ABC’s Australian Story, who featured an in- depth story on Jules’ dedication, commitment and contribution to many deserving charities.

She has just launched her Waccii Nurturing Tea company, with all profits supporting Waccii (Women’s and Children’s Care Initiative Incorporated).

Jules Allen is a contributing Parent expert for The Carousel.

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