Vodafone Foundation unlocks transformational power of technology to help young people

6 September 2018

The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation today announced three charities have been selected to participate in the second year of its Change Accelerator programme, and unveiled the technology-based solutions the participants plan to develop to benefit youth in New Zealand. 

This year’s participants will tackle issues spanning mental health, goal-setting and domestic violence over a 5-week period (3 Sep - 5 Oct 2018).  The programme will support organisations to take a technology-based idea from concept to reality. 

The Change Accelerator programme is a key part of a ten year strategy for the Vodafone Foundation to halve the number of excluded and disadvantaged young people in Aotearoa. 

The Foundation aims to ensure all Rangatahi have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.  Foundation Manager, Lani Evans, believes technology will play a big role in meeting that ambitious goal. Enabling community organisations to effectively utilise the power of technology is what the Change Accelerator is all about.

“The ideas presented to us by this year’s Change Accelerator participants carry tremendous potential to scale and drive truly transformational change for youth in Aotearoa.  We are proud to play a role in unlocking that potential by sharing our technology capability and resources, and wrapping support around these charities from concept through to working prototypes.”

Participants in the Change Accelerator receive funding, mentoring, workshops, expertise, including from technology and rapid prototyping teams, and access to world-leading technology in our Vodafone xone Innovation Lab. 

This year’s participants and the ideas they are putting through the Change Accelerator are:

  • Mid North Family Support (based in Kerikeri):   Exploring development of a domestic violence education app for professionals to use to engage rangatahi, and assist them in developing their own keep safe strategies.
  • Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance Charitable Trust (based in Palmerston North):  Working on the next prototype iteration of their gamified programme for families to collaborate on reaching for personal and whānau-based goals and dreams.
  • Anamata Cafe YOSS (based in Taupō):  Creating a digital, youth-friendly HEADSS (Home, Education, Activities, Drugs (substances), Sex & sexuality, Safety & mental health assessment tool for professionals to use with young people.  Broadly, the HEEADSS framework identifies areas that are going well for the young person as well as areas that pose potential risk. 

Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Chair Antony Welton said, “We are inspired by the passion and commitment this year’s Change Accelerator participants share for the youth of New Zealand. 

“We believe the combination of their deep knowledge of the issues facing youth, their innovative ideas for solving them, and the power of our technology will drive meaningful social change.   Together, we hope to level the playing field for excluded and disadvantaged young people and transform lives.”

Each of the participating community organisations receive grants of $20,000 to cover their expenses during the five-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.

Vodafone Foundation unlocks transformational power of technology to help young people