Eagle Raps may close due to funding cuts

Edward Alofi says he wouldn't be able to finish his HSC and consider joining the defence force if it wasn't for the support of Eagle Raps Inc founder Sally Wynd. Picture: Geoff Jones

Edward Alofi says he wouldn't be able to finish his HSC and consider joining the defence force if it wasn't for the support of Eagle Raps Inc founder Sally Wynd. Picture: Geoff Jones

A Doonside non-profit organisation that provides an alternative education for young people who would otherwise struggle in the mainstream system could be forced to shut its doors later this year.

Eagle Raps Inc needs to find $200,000 to reopen next year after the federal government axed its funding through Marist Youth Care’s Youth Connections program.

Founded by Marten and  Sally Wynd, Eagle Raps started off as a youth drop in centre before it took on its first student in 2003.

Around 2000 young people have done their education via correspondence there since.

Mrs Wynd estimates around 80 per cent of past students have gone  onto full time work or study.

‘‘A lot of people say we’re a school for students with behaviourial difficulties but we’re not,’’ she told the Sun.

‘‘We have a boy whose mum is ill with cancer and needs a school with flexible hours, young mums with babies and a boy with a rare bone disease who can’t go to a mainstream school. These kids have nowhere else to go to do their education.’’

Meetings with federal and state MPs have been set up and the matter was discussed at Wednesday night’s Blacktown Council meeting.

‘‘We’re doing everything we can,’’ Mrs Wynd said.

‘‘$200,000 may seem like a lot of money but not if several companies come on board to share the cost.’’

Her message to the relevant ministers making the decisions?

‘‘They should come and see for themselves what we’re all about it,’’ she said.

‘‘These are not bad kids. They just need our help and the chance to prove to become productive citizens.’’

More on this story in next week’s edition of the Blacktown Sun.

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