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Computers in Homes graduation celebrates success

Media release
3 December 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Computers in Homes graduation celebrates success of new Auckland families

Ten families from refugee backgrounds will celebrate this afternoon at a Computers in Homes graduation attended by Ministry of Education representatives Abdi Abdirizak and Abraham Mamer.

The national Computers in Homes programme brings computer technology within reach of both families in low-income communities and families with a refugee background, allowing parents and grandparents to connect with their children’s learning and the wider community.

Today’s event celebrates the achievements of local families who have completed their ICT training which forms part of the Computers in Homes refugee programme. The families have been provided with a computer and internet access along with training, skills and support to use these technologies which assist them in adjusting to New Zealand life.

Computers in Homes has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Education’s Refugee Education division since 2004 and has provided more than 400 refugee families with a recycled computer, training and support. A representative from the national Computers in Homes team is joining the celebrations at Selwyn College to raise awareness for the programme and to encourage government and business to scale-up their support.

“We are encouraged by the commitment to this local programme through the funding provided by the Ministry of Education’s Refugee Resettlement Education for children and their families from refugee backgrounds. We do hope regional celebrations such as Auckland’s will encourage the Government and businesses to expand their funding support,” said Computers in Homes’ National Coordinator, Di Das.

“For many in the course, this was the first time they had ever been in contact with a computer in their lives. In conjunction with an English course, these ten families are now able to search the Internet, communicate with distant relatives, and use basic word processing software,” Ms Das says.

“Computers in Homes provides a vehicle for practical educational opportunities while also addressing ICT access issues in this country. It’s a proven programme that has reached 400 refugee families and over 4,000 Kiwi families and now just requires funds to scale it up,” Ms Das says.

The refugee programme has been able to provide ICT education to refugee communities in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Nelson and Porirua. Parents receive 20 hours of basic computer training including word processing, emailing and using the Internet, at their local migrant centre or children’s school.

The training is aimed at empowering parents to become actively involved in their children’s learning, as well as increasing their own employment opportunities and confidence for adjusting to New Zealand society. Results from the programme have included employment success and continued education.

“We receive numerous emails of thanks from participants in the programme. It opens up a whole new world of opportunity for families who participate,” Ms Das says.

Computers in Homes is an initiative of the 2020 Communications Trust with support from the Ministry of Education and the previous Government’s Digital Strategy Community Partnership Fund. The 2020 Trust is looking for funding and support to expand Computers in Homes to all low income communities where children do not have access to computers and the Internet in their homes.

For more information visit www.computersinhomes.org.nz.


ENDS

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