• Yoobi and World Vision Australia help donate stationary items to some of the most remote Indigenous communities in the country. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Students from some of the most remote Indigenous communities in Australia are getting a helping hand with stationery items thanks to a brand new partnership.
Laura Morelli

22 Feb 2018 - 10:51 AM  UPDATED 22 Feb 2018 - 1:06 PM

School can be a daunting time for parents and children living in rural towns of Australia with education bills, uniform costs and stationery products all adding up.

Stationery brand Yoobi  has partnered up with World Vision Australia to help several students in early childhood development start off the New Year.

"We felt that reaching Indigenous communities that are doing it tough, was a must.”

Senior Partnership Manager for World Vision Australia, Jessica Hayman, says the new partnership aims to enable the social enterprise to extend its reach further than ever before.

“These programs focus on strengthening family, community and service structures to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s development and school readiness.”

In some cases, these communities are located more than nine hours away from the nearest regional town, meaning these children simply don’t have access to the same services, support and resources.

“Yoobi’s generous donation of stationery supplies will make a huge difference in helping children in these remote parts of the country to learn, grow and thrive,” Hayman said.

“As parents and Elders come together to learn and play with their children, these new and colourful resources will help create a lot of excitement around learning.”

Yoobi has sold more than half a million stationery items to some 40,000 disadvantaged kids across the country since its launch in 2016 and this year their aim is to reach more Indigenous children in need of basic supplies.

Australian Co-Founder, Ido Leffler says every child in Australia, regardless of where they are located, or their financial position should have the basic supplies they need to participate at school.

"Distance and expense make it hard for these communities to attract the services, support and resources other little children in Australia have access to, and it was a really obvious opportunity to make a difference," Leffler said.

"As a company that is striving to give back to Aussie children in need, we felt that reaching Indigenous communities that are doing it tough, was a must.”

"We literally went from 'comfortable' to broke overnight." 

Being a successful business owner was just a dream for Leffler. At the age of 12, after he and his family migrated from Israel to Australia, they went through massive financial hardship and experienced what it was like to be disadvantaged.   

"We literally went from 'comfortable' to broke overnight. My father became so depressed, he could hardly move.  My parents had to rebuild everything from scratch," he explained.

Despite being in a foreign country and speaking a different language, Leffler said helping his family get by was a challenge that taught him how to proactively make a difference, which evidently led him to the beginning of his business career.  

"Yoobi came about when Lance (my business partner) and I were living in the USA and discovered that there was a real issue with kids not having the basic school supplies. As a result, teachers were digging into their own pockets to bridge the gap."  

Their goal was to expand Yoobi but they didn't think Australia needed their help. They were wrong. 

"We just thought Australia is the lucky country, isn’t it? But of course, we do have the same issues. We have 1.1 million children and teenagers living in poverty and 92 per cent of teachers have spent their own money to buy school supplies for their students that are going without."

Now Leffler's main focus is on helping Australia's most underprivlidged people. 

"Education is a huge poverty circuit-breaker, but you can’t learn or do your homework if you don’t have the proper tools... And the issue in some of these remote communities is that even if people want to help, it’s logistically almost impossible to do so," he said. 

"We hope Yoobi provides part of this solution in providing awesome school supplies for Indigenous kids to learn, play and develop within their own communities."

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