She understands thatbeing educated is critical for children and young people to set themselves up for success later in life. It's also the best way for a struggling family to break the cycle of disadvantage - for without a quality education, children from struggling families can often fall even further behind.
Yvonne's late husband Lionel came from a very well educated family, and he was determined, despite their difficult start in a new country, that their children should receive the best possible education that they could provide. He was also very strong on social justice issues and believed that no child should be prevented from having a good education simply because they were poor or disadvantaged.
After Lionel passed away in May 2010, his family decided to create a special Fund in his name. The Lionel De Sousa Fund is administered by Good Shepherd, and helps poor families pay for essential school items. As well as generously donating substantial amounts of their own money to the Fund, the de Sousas also raise money to pass on to Good Shepherd to go into the Fund.
Yvonne and Lionel's daughter Robyn hosted her 40th birthday party where she asked guests to contribute to a charity. It was through these funds that the Lionel De Sousa Fund with Good Shepherd was set up.
More recently, Yvonne sold tatted lace items - lace made painstakingly with a shuttle and thread - at an art exhibition. Her skills raised a couple of hundred dollars for the Fund, money which can now be used to help children access a decent education and have a better chance of breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
On behalf of all the vulnerable children who have been able to purchase essential school items via the Lionel De Sousa Fund, we are extremely grateful to the De Sousa family.