Vodafone for Vax: helping increase uptake among under-served communities

Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation donates $100,000 for Covid-19 vaccination drive

Covid-19 has had undeniable and significant impacts on young people and the communities that Te Rourou, the Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation, is seeking to support. To assist, the charitable foundation is providing $100,000 in one-off grants to four community organisations focused on increasing vaccination uptake in under-served communities.

Data from the Thriving Rangatahi Population Explorer shows Māori and Pasifika youth are facing disproportionate challenges due to the social and economic impacts of lockdowns and the inequitable vaccine rollout.

The funds will be donated to:

  • UNICEF Aotearoa ($50,000) as part of the UNICEF Aotearoa COVAX Alliance to support the delivery of Covid 19 vaccinations in the East Asia and Pacific region.
  • Awarua Whānau Services and Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust ($20,000 x2) to increase vaccination uptake in Southland.
  • Pacific Island Advisory Community Trust ($10,000) to increase vaccinations and respond to increased need for support for the Southland Pasifika community.

Lani Evans, Head of Te Rourou, explains “Our community partners have clearly communicated that they are under-resourced and short on capacity. Covid-19 has significantly increased the demand for social support services and exacerbated existing inequities within Aoteraoa. We have a clear goal to reduce the number of youth facing disadvantage - and that means making sure everyone is protected from the health, wellbeing and economic impacts of Covid-19. Supporting and accelerating the vaccination effort will help us achieve this goal.

“This is not our first foray into supporting Covid-19 relief efforts. Earlier this year, we raised almost $470,000 for UNICEF’s Covid – 19 response in India – this additional donation will ensure approximately 10,000 more essential and healthcare workers are double vaccinated in our neighbouring countries, while the regional funding focus aligns with our current work in Invercargill and Southland.”

For more information on each of the organisations and the investment grants:

UNICEF Aotearoa COVAX Alliance - $50,000

The pandemic is a global problem requiring a global solution. At present, only 8% of people in low-income countries have received the vaccine, compared to 64% in high income countries. UNICEF is part of a global collaboration aiming to deliver 3 billion vaccine doses to 92 low and middle-income countries. Our $50,000 donation covers the cost of delivering two doses of the vaccine to approximately 10,000 essential and healthcare workers in the East Asia and the Pacific region. No-one is safe until we are all safe.

Awarua Whanau Services - $20,000

Awarua Whānau Services is focused on targeting youth and hard to reach communities in Invercargill, Bluff and wider Southland. They are providing mobile vaccination services, going to homes and schools, as well as running pop-up and drive through vaccination clinics. In early December, they ran a pop-up drive through vaccination clinic at the ILT Stadium Southland and provided 223 covid vaccinations. Many these were first doses. They have established a seven day a week drive through swabbing and vaccination clinic in the carpark of The Newfield Tavern in South Invercargill. This location is a prime spot due to being a well-known landmark and in an area that currently has lower vaccination rates. Awarua Whanau Services are attempting to reduce barriers to access and are therefore trying new approaches in supporting the community. https://www.awarua.nz/

Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust - $20,000

Ngā Kete is focused on targeting youth, whanau and hard to reach communities in Invercargill and wider Southland. At present they are providing mobile vaccination services, going to homes and community centres, as well as running pop-up vaccination clinics at churches and key Pasifika venues. Ngā Kete Mātauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust also employs the first Antony Welton Fellowship recipient, Bailey Ives, who works in their vaccination programme. https://nkmp.maori.nz/

The Pacific Island Advisory Charitable Trust - $10,000

The Pacific Island Advisory Charitable Trust (PIACT) is Invercargill based with a mission to promote the wellbeing, education and cultural development of people of Pacific ancestry residing in Southland. Its purpose built headquarters provides a variety of holistic services that are both office and home based. Since the appearance of Covid 19, PIACT has been supporting its community increased needs, mostly related to debt and food. It had promoted extensively information about the pandemic and more latterly had actively pursued a variety of initiatives to have the community vaccinated with their doctors and other avenues including Queens Park Medical Centre. In collaboration with Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, over 5000 vaccinations (over 600 Pasifika) were carried out at PIACT between August and early December.

The focus is now to plan for the care of our community during the expected arrival of Covid 19 in Southland. This will be a collaborative effort between PIACT, Health authorities and our church and community leaders.

Early in the new year, PIACT will focus on vaccinating tamariki. https://www.piact.org.nz/

For more information about Te Rourou, Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation, please visit https://foundation.vodafone.co.nz/

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