Connecting girls and women seeking changes with 4 Voices
Jo Westh wants to help women find the strength to change their future.
After seeing the mistreatment of women and the rise in domestic violence and female homelessness, Jo decided to find her voice and help others find theirs.
In 2019, Jo founded 4 Voices – an organisation dedicated to helping girls and women find their own voice and celebrate their strength, one connection at a time. By providing 4 Voices with mobile services, we’re helping Jo forge those connections.
Now with a volunteer community of more than 200, Jo and the much-loved 4 Voices vans support thousands of people who are experiencing domestic violence, homelessness, loneliness, unemployment, lack of computer skills or access and more.
Coffee and connection
‘Many of the people we meet are afraid, embarrassed or even ashamed to reach out for help. Our approach is to just hang out on the streets with our purple van, our purple clad volunteers and our computers, phones and cups of coffee,’ says Jo.
Jo named their van ‘Aurora’, meaning dawn or new beginning. That’s exactly what Jo and 4Voices are offering those they help.
‘Whatever we can do to help, we will do our best. Everybody is welcome, accepted and not judged. No appointment necessary, no issue too trivial, no one turned away,’ says Jo.
Helping those experiencing domestic violence and homelessness
According to 4 Voices, over 50,000 women are experiencing homelessness in Australia on any given day. Of these, more than 33,000 are fleeing domestic and family violence. One in eight are not online – disconnected, digitally and socially.
Jo and 4 Voices’ mission responds directly to this crisis: connect girls and women seeking change. They’re working towards a world where any girl or woman who feels unhappy, threatened or alone can find her voice.
Her voice, her story, her connection
Building self-esteem and a sense of belonging and connection is crucial to 4 Voices’ mission. It helps women feel good about themselves and make changes in their lives.
4 Voices’ values of variety, openness, integrity, compassion, equality, and self-respect (take the first letter of each value and you’ll spell voices) speak to a celebration of every woman’s individuality, importance and rights.
‘Values shouldn’t just be words on a website: they should be part of the fabric of the organisation, lived and breathed by everyone associated.’
During her time working with 4 Voices, Jo says that she’s really seen the ‘absolute need for connection’ that humans have – how we all need ‘someone to talk to, to hug, to trust, to belong.’
‘Fear often paralyses the women we help, and self-doubt consumes them. Let’s reinforce, praise, support, encourage. Let’s build a network of people who give a damn about each other; who know they belong to a community that cares.’
It feels good to connect with Belong
As part of our partnership and mission to help to make our world a more inclusive place, Belong supports 4 Voices with some of the operational costs of running the outreach charity.
When it came to working with Belong, Jo explains that the partnership just ‘makes sense.’
‘The ethos, the focus on connection and belonging perfectly align. I am excited to see how we can grow together to help more people find their voice.’
Want to help connect girls and women seeking change?
It feels good to connect. It feels good to Belong.
The national hotline for domestic violence is 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) should you or somebody you know need urgent support.