CHILDREN living in Wagga's social housing sites are being guided toward a bright future through a new program supporting the city's youth.
Mission Australia's Tenant Participation Community Engagement program will offer people aged 10-16 years old a series of workshops, activities and entertainment over the coming weeks with a focus on both physical, mental and social health.
Hosted at the Kooringal Community Centre, TPCE program facilitator Jenny Davis said it was all about providing opportunities for young people.
"There is a big need in the local community," she said.
"I think kids in social housing, not just in Kooringal, lack these sorts of programs that can consume some of their time in a healthy dimension."
Ms Davis said when children are left with little to do, they can often stray from the right path.
"These programs give kids the opportunity to look inwards, express themselves in a cultural sense and also in a way that gives them self-pride, as well as some direction," she said.
Every Friday until March 26, the Kooringal Community Centre will host a number of activities between 3:30pm-5:30pm. Activities will feature art, music, games, mindfulness, meditation, drumming, yoga, fitness and self care, as well as cultural mentoring from local Aboriginal Elders including art and weaving.
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Mission Australia's TPCE program manager Deb Muddiman said the community-led after-school activities were a great opportunity for young locals to get together, connect, support their wellbeing and have some fun.
"The program aims to provide a foundation for young people to develop interpersonal and leadership skills, as well as enhance cultural understanding and connection, community ownership and spirit," she said.
"Young people who come along will be able to try their hand at new things, make friends and potentially develop a new interest, passion or hobby or two which may inspire ongoing participation in a range of activities."
Ms Davis said numbers were already picking up, with an expected full capacity of 14 people to be reached by next week.
With controversial measures being debated in Queensland at the moment surrounding the use of GPS trackers on youth in the justice system, Ms Davis said the program would offer a more reasonable approach.
"I think if kids are given direction and opportunities, then they will naturally make better decisions," she said.
"The justice system, as hard as it tries to help, doesn't represent other ways of approaching the problem so I think programs like this are a fantastic start."
The after-school activities are community-led and facilitated by Mission Australia as part of the social housing TPCE program, alongside Mindful Warrior. The program is funded by Department of Communities and Justice and started in Wagga in late 2018.