Meet the inspiring and kind-hearted Alice Wojcik.
Alice’s family moved from Poland to Australia before she was born. Growing up in this dual cultural environment came with substantial challenges and facing them made her the person she is today.
Despite her refugee parents’ best efforts, it was very difficult for the family to make ends meet. Throughout her childhood, Alice was confronted with the significant differences between her strict Catholic upbringing and the laid-back Australian ways. At times, she felt isolated and lonely. Especially when it came to celebrating holidays as she didn’t have any extended family around.
Although she was born and raised in Australia, people constantly asked her the inevitable question “Where are you from?” To blend in and for ease of communication, she even ended up changing her name from Alicja to Alice.
All of these challenges led her to mature quickly and ignited her desire to make a difference to children in a similar situation. Today, she accepted to answer Be Beyond Borders’ questions so awareness and funds can be raised to support and empower the generations and generations of migrant children to come.
Hi Alice, could you please tell us about yourself?
My name is Alice Wojcik. My parents came to Australia as refugees just before I was born. I was raised in Melbourne where I currently live. I have been lucky enough to have lived or travelled to places such as London, New York, Milan, Athens, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
In 2012, you started a charity called Refugee Migrant Children Centre, could you share a bit more about it?
The idea behind RMCC was formed by Bobby and me in our living room back in 2012. We started distributing educational material aid in 2013 and then organised our first weekly program in 2014. In 2016, we opened Australia’s first dedicated space to empowering school-aged refugee, asylum seeker and migrant children. As of today, we have supported almost 700 children. You can say it has been a rollercoaster ride we have never been able to get off.
Which ways or methods do you use to empower refugees and migrant children and youth so they are able to create their own opportunities?
The children we work with come from refugee, asylum seeker or migrant backgrounds. They face complex barriers on top of those caused by being disadvantaged and just being a child. RMCC does things differently because we don’t focus on one aspect of a child’s life. We focus on education, identity and belonging, life skills, mental health and wellbeing. We also work towards a common goal of ensuring each child reaches their full potential by working together with their schools, families and the wider community.
What are your plans for RMCC in the future?
We are currently on the journey of empowering 2000 children by 2020 and everything we are doing now is ensuring we reach that target by then – or hopefully sooner.
How can everyone help?
Any individual can make a difference in this world in some shape or form. You can help RMCC through following our work, speaking about what we do and why and/or coming along to events or making a donation towards our cause. Every bit counts.
So… What are you waiting for? Even if it’s just a fiver – the price of a coffee or a beer – donate today to make a difference tomorrow.
- Help children get that sense of belonging we all long for.
- Show them there is a place for each and every one of us in the world.
- Make them feel at home here, there, everywhere.
RMCC’s work and Alice’s story is what has inspired me to raise funds through my upcoming marathon walk challenge. Only three days to go! Wish me luck and please, please, please help me reach my fundraising target by donating whatever you can.
To make a donation, click on this link [THANK YOU]: RMCC Fundraising Page Solène Anglaret To learn more about RMCC, visit their website: RMCC Australia
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