A sense of purpose and pride

He always makes sure young people in session who are alone know he is their friend

Shaunnine, Junior Zone Coordinator

When he first joined Mahdlo in April 2022, Kayden expressed an interest in art and music, but struggled to engage in activities and make friends. Only attending during the school holidays, it was even harder for him to build and maintain relationships with other young people.

Despite his initial struggles, he persisted and continued to attend Holiday Zone every six weeks. Over time, he developed his passion for the arts, something he had never been able to explore before. This newfound passion gave him a sense of purpose and pride in his creations. It also gave him an opportunity to connect with others who shared his interests and helped him build friendships. But Kayden’s growth didn’t stop there.

Holiday Zone often brings lots of new young people to Mahdlo, many of whom have never been before and are nervous or apprehensive about attending. This year we launched a buddying system; young people that have been to Holiday Zone lots of times were paired with new attendees to show them round and help them get settled in.

Exactly a year after first attending, Kayden took on a leadership role, becoming a Mahdlo buddy. With his polite and friendly attitude to demonstrating different activities and providing directions throughout the day – even for simple things like where and when lunch would be served – his kind and supportive actions helped a nervous young person feel comfortable and introduced them to all aspects of Holiday Zone.

I’m so proud of myself, I can’t wait to tell my mum. She is going to be so proud.


Holiday Zone provided Kayden with a sense of belonging and purpose that helped him grow in confidence. Your support has created the opportunity for Kayden to transform from a shy and hesitant participant to a confident and supportive leader.

A sense of purpose and pride
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