Vodafone New Zealand Foundation releases $120,000 in emergency funds to awhi community partners during COVID-19 lockdown

By Lani Evans, Vodafone Foundation and Sustainability Manager

The Vodafone Foundation’s overarching goal is to create an Aotearoa, New Zealand where all young people have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. In times of uncertainty like this, we want to do everything we can to support community organisations on the front line, to provide them with what they need to get on with the mahi.

We’re heard that emergency funding is the most pressing need, so we’re releasing $120,000 in funds immediately to provide untagged, non-contestable donations to 12 of our current community partners.

These partners* provide young people with a wide range of essential services, including access to safe shelter, social connection, medical and mental health support and digital inclusion– and they are all doing remarkable work to help our communities throughout this incredibly challenging time.

We’re pleased to hear responses from these partners that the support is welcomed.

Brook Turner from Vision West explained “COVID-19 has had huge impacts on our most vulnerable. While many of us have stocked our shelves for the lockdown, those trapped by poverty, illness, disability, addictions and mental health have become isolated. Our homeless whanau remain homeless. To support whanau, Vision West in partnership with Vodafone Foundation are doing emergency food deliveries to the most vulnerable. We are also continuing to provide housing support to the homeless. Vodafone remains a steadfast friend for us at this time.”

Tracie Shipton said “VOYCE Whakarongo mai will be working hard to connect young people in foster care and keeping them connected with each other wherever we can, and thank Vodafone for the assistance in making this happen.”

We’re also looking at whether we can offer additional funds to support medium and long-term needs, and working with the Vodafone business to provide essential internet and mobile connectivity services and device donations when and where we can.

In addition, we’re working with Vodafone to look at safe and effective opportunities for staff to volunteer and donate to non-profit organisations, as well as examining avenues to support broader digital inclusion in our vulnerable and disconnected communities.

Our focus is firmly on wrapping around our current community partners and making sure they’re able to continue to serve the needs of young people, support their staff and keep their physical and/or digital doors open during this difficult time.

We’ll get through this together with kindness, generosity and community.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

*Vodafone Foundation community partners include:
· Vision West
· Anamata Cafe
· VIBE Hutt Valley
· Youthline
· VOYCE Whakarongo Mai
· Maoriland
· Te Ora Hou Otautahi
· Aviva
· Tamaki Community Development

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