Vodafone Foundation mobilises IT training and whānau support for Kiwi kids


The Vodafone Foundation has today announced significant funding to connect rural communities with the world through digital technology, and support families of vulnerable young people.



The MOKO Foundation (pictured above), a charitable trust empowering communities in the Far North, and Te Aroha Noa, a community development agency working with young people in Palmerston North, have been selected by the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation as the 2017 Extension Partnership grant recipients.

Each organisation will receive $300,000 over three years, and on-going support in partnership with the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation.

Vodafone New Zealand Foundation chair, Antony Welton said The MOKO Foundation’s aspiration to connect young people in the Far North with opportunities throughout the world resonated strongly.

“The idea of enabling young people in isolated communities to access fast internet, and the latest technology to reach out to the wider global community is what Vodafone stands for. We want all young people to have educational opportunities irrespective of where they live in New Zealand,” Antony said.

The MOKO Foundation will take a mobile innovation hub into five different Far North communities on a weekly basis. The digital classroom on wheels will see staff offer tuition in learning to code and explore information technology, as well as career planning.

The MOKO Foundation General Manager Deidre Otene said the mobile hub will also provide health support.

“It provides another option for families in terms of the time, expense and ability to get their young people to the doctor when they may not have that. I think the programme is going to be positively received because it provides real opportunities for young people in rural communities,” Deidre said.



Youth Programmes co-ordinator Brad Rapira said the Vodafone Foundation will enable Te Aroha Noa (pictured above) to realise a long held-dream in extending support to the families of the young people they work with.

“We support young people to re-engage them in learning pathways. We have always wanted to say to the families, we need you to be part of this difference. Tell us what your hopes and dreams are for your children – let us partner with you, and the Vodafone Foundation, to assist and guide those dreams,” Brad said.

“Finding a way to support not only the young person, but also the parents, siblings and wider whānau can make a huge difference in the lives of a whole community. The Vodafone Foundation is proud to support these important initiatives,” Antony said.