Eastern Fleurieu School Strathalbyn R-6 teachers paint nails to fight violence against children through Polished Man campaign

Male staff at Eastern Fleurieu School (EFS) Strathalbyn have painted fingernails to raise money for and awareness of trauma prevention and violence against children.

The Polished Man, run by ygap, is an annual campaign which raises money to support children who suffer from violence worldwide.

According to the campaign, one billion children in the last year experienced violence.

The campaign, which runs through October, aims to spark conversations after people see that someone has one fingernail painted.

A group of staff at the EFS Strathalbyn R-6 campus are taking part, and after already hitting their $500 target, they have upped their fundraising goal to $1000.

Their Strathalbyn 7-12 campus colleagues are also helping with the fundraising.

Year three teacher Darcy Springhall led the school's individual campaign after reading an article last month about the impacts of childhood violence.

"I was blown away by the statistic that over half the world's children were exposed to some kind of violence last year alone," he said.

"I then read about some of the fantastic organisations and movements aimed at supporting the children impacted.

"It was great to see just how far every dollar raised goes in educating, rehabilitating and giving these children a voice and a second chance at a normal life."

He brought up the campaign at a school staff meeting, and numerous colleagues jumped at the chance to be involved.

"As educators, we certainly see a lot of children from all different backgrounds, so it's something that really hits close to home," he said.

"If we can raise awareness and help just one child impacted by violence then we have more than done our job."

He said it was heartbreaking to know some of the school's students would be going through pain at home.

"It's scary that some kids come to school already having fought battles we couldn't even imagine; that some kids dread the sound of the bell at the end of the day as they don't go home to a safe place," he said.

Many staff members painted a single fingernail differently during October, but a smaller group of teachers wanted to raised the profile of the campaign and trusted a few of the students to paint the teachers' nails.

"It was a really fun event that was filled with a lot of laughs and a heap of the students got on board too, it was certainly a feel-good moment for us all here at the Strathalbyn R-6 campus," Mr Springhall said.

"Some female staff have supported by wearing a different-coloured nail, and some kids are onboard after last week's little event we had too.

"We support a lot of different organisations at school which are all so vital, one of the key messages we are hoping to send is that by raising awareness and giving students a platform to speak up we can create a better world."

He was appreciative of the support those taking part had received from the school community and wider community through donations, messages, and the painting of nails.

"Our school community is a very special one and we, as teachers, know just how crucial our roles as not only educators but as role models can be," he said.

Funds raised go towards trauma recovery and trauma prevention programs for children through agencies around the world, including the Australian Childhood Foundation, SAMSN, Hagar Australia and the New York Center for Children.

To donate to EFS Strathalbyn R-6 campus' campaign, visit https://my.polishedman.com/darcy-springhall

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