BULLYING is an ever-present threat on the school playground, but one organisation is helping victims overcome and rise above it.
I Can I Will is a children's charity that promotes inclusion and changes the lives of children who have been severely bullied because of their special needs.
This has been achieved through granting wishes, where the organisation creates an experience for the child to improve their confidence and self-esteem.
The experience is not only entertaining, but is life-changing for the child, improving their confidence and self-esteem.
The child then takes the video wish to present at school for show and tell, so that the other children no longer see the child as a target or as someone to isolate, and instead look at them as someone they want to be friends with.
I Can I Will report that children with a disability are three to four times more likely to be bullied and 67 percent of children with autism are bullied on a weekly basis in Australia.
Port Macquarie student, Cady Frost, has some special needs and has been the victim of bullying.
Her mother, Amy Ardrey, reached out to I Can I Will for help after years of problems.
“As a mother it (bullying) makes you feel helpless, because she does come home crying a lot,” she said.
“Because of her issues, just one word could set her off and make her feel less of a person.
“It’s been going on for a long time, but through I Can I Will she has learnt resilience and that she can’t be best friends with everyone, and that’s ok.”
Cady has trouble socialising with children, so finding good friends with good intentions is an issue but something that is improving with time.
“Something little could seem massive to her, so she is learning how to cope with those things,” Amy said.
The organisation responded to Amy’s request by flying Cady, a budding photographer and fashion guru, to Melbourne for a VIP experience at Miss Universe where she went on a helicopter ride, was made over by a YouTube vlogger and was asked to be an official ambassador for I Can I Will in the NSW Mid North Coast region.
“I didn’t know what to do as an ambassador, but I learnt more about it and now I’m really excited to help kids who get bullied,” Cady said.
“If I’m being bullied I have to confront the problem and ask them why they are bullying me, but that can be hard sometimes.
“If someone has said or done something I don’t like, I can go to my other friends and sit with them, or go and speak to a teacher. But I have a lot of really good friends and I’m learning how to deal with bullying.”