Give carers a break
A few of my school mates know that I care for my brother, but they don’t understand why I have to help so much.
16 year old Dorothea juggles caring and school
Like thousands of other young South Australians, Dorothea Mapenzi from Trott Park is studying in Year 11.
That's not the only pressure she deals with every day. Dorothea juggles her studies with caring for her nine-year-old brother who is on the autism spectrum and he has global development delay.
"I’ve been helping to care for my brother, Christian, since he was eight months old," Dorothea explains.
She prepares Christian’s food, makes the beds, showers and clothes him and helps him with his reading.
"I find it hard to juggle caring and school work," she says. "Some teachers are sympathetic and will give me extra time for assignments or tests when I need it, but some teachers say it’s unfair to do this.
"A few of my school mates know that I care for my brother, but they don’t understand why I have to help so much."
There are 34,000 young carers in South Australia, that's two in a typical classroom.
While many young carers emphasise that caring is a positive experience, research indicates that caring affects their own health, mental health and wellbeing.
They frequently miss school, have no time to complete homework, feel distracted during lessons and miss out on out-of-hours activities.
Dorothea says she only gets a break when she's sleeping, at school, or when she goes to Carer Support activities.
"I remember feeling scared about going to my first activity at Carer Support, but as soon as I got there, it felt like family," she smiles.
"I get one-to-one support from Carer Support staff which helps because I can talk when I need to and they listen. I also get to connect with other young carers on camps and at activities and we’re like a huge family. No-one else really understands what we go through."
Please make a donation to give Dorothea and other young carers the weekend break they need.
Your gift can continue to give young carers somewhere to turn to.
"Carer Support is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen," says Dorothea. "Their staff give their time to help other carers and they give us time to breathe. It’s really helpful to have someone to vent to.
"My life would be a lot more stressful without Carer Support. I wouldn’t have had the breaks and having the support helps my whole family," says a grateful Dorothea.
Your gift will give young carers a chance to recharge their batteries, have a break and mix with other young people.
With your kind gift they won't have to miss out on that any longer.