Distance learning provider wins Vodafone backing

Auckland-based Ngā Rangatahi Toa, an arts-mentoring and transition programme for rangatahi who have been excluded from mainstream education, has won backing from the Vodafone Foundation.

Ngā Rangatahi Toa uses video-conferencing sessions to provide interactive education and will be able to expand its reach nationwide after being chosen for Vodafone’s Change Accelerator programme.

Another community organisation selected is anti-bullying group, Central Otago’s Sticks n Stones. They will take their  work to stop bullying to the next level, to help young people who are based rurally around New Zealand and feel isolated, connect with their peers.

Sticks n Stones aims to offer everything from distance learning opportunities, to youth-led supportive communication networks.  

Vodafone New Zealand Foundation chair Antony Welton said technology has a big part to play in levelling the playing field for excluded and disadvantaged young people.

“We are committed to using technology for good, we know that online platforms and apps can create positive social change, and we’re excited to help these amazing community organisations take great ideas and turn them into reality.

“Each of these projects has the power to change the lives of a vast number of young people living in Aotearoa today. We’ll provide funding, mentoring, and technology experts to help breathe life into their ideas, and we know our community partners are prepared to roll their sleeves up to make it happen,” says Mr Antony.

Each of the participating community organisations will receive grants of $15,000 to cover their expenses during the six-week Change Accelerator programme based at Vodafone’s Christchurch Innov8 centre, and contribute to their organisation’s kaupapa. They will also be invited to apply for the Vodafone Foundation’s Innovation Fund at the end of the accelerator.

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