When Bronwyn Sheehan first started The Pyjama Foundation back in 2004, her goal was to break the cycle of disadvantage experienced by children in foster care.
Alarmed at the statistics highlighting poor literacy and numeracy levels of children in care, and how this contributes to a lifetime of disadvantage, founder Bronwyn Sheehan made a decision to offer hope and a more positive outlook for these children. “I was heartbroken to know that without support and early intervention, so many of these children head down a perilous and destructive path,” Sheehan says. “My dream and vision was to see these children finishing primary school, high school and go on to create a brighter future for themselves – whether that be Tafe, University or full-time work.”
Through a simple program known as the Love of Learning Program, volunteers called ‘Pyjama Angels’ are matched with a child in care, and spend just one hour a week focusing on learning based activities. Pyjama Angels read books aloud, play educational games, and help children with their homework. This time signifies and demonstrates how the child is valued and loved. “Education equates to quality of life. The reason I started The Pyjama Foundation is because my oldest daughter Kate went through primary school with a child in care. I met her foster carer and I was blown away by her commitment to these children. This lady had been a carer for 30 years and had had over 100 children in her home.”
Fifteen years on, Sheehan’s goals, vision, and mission have not changed and she’s fuelled more than ever to make an even bigger impact. Donations are crucial in order to maintain the Love of Learning Program for children in foster care as The Pyjama Foundation raises 90% of their own funds – they do not receive any ongoing national government donations.
The Pyjama Foundation sets out everyday to change the life trajectory of these children and helps them to find happier endings to their stories.
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