Vodafone New Zealand Foundation sets audacious target to transform the lives of young Kiwis
The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation has today unveiled a radical new $20 million strategy to support the most excluded and disadvantaged young Kiwis who don’t have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.
Since the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation was established in 2002, it’s invested more than $25 million dollars in local communities to empower young people to reach their full potential.
Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Chair Antony Welton said as the only nationally focused youth funder, the organisation is incredibly passionate about the potential of young people.
“We have supported more than 100 inspiring community leaders through our flagship programme, the World of Difference. Each of them have given young people meaningful learning and working opportunities, and met with tremendous success.
“But after more than a decade we wanted to be sure our funding is moving the dial for our most excluded and disadvantaged young Kiwis, as well as leveraging the power of Vodafone,” Antony said.
Today the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation is starting a ten year, $20 million journey to transform the lives of young Kiwis at risk.
“According to Treasury data there are 210,000 young people at risk. Our aim is to halve that number by 2027. It’s an ambitious goal, and we know we’ll have to make some big changes to do so.
“We intend to leverage what is uniquely ours, as a global telecommunications company, with its huge human resources, specialised business, network, and technology expertise. But we also know we can’t do it alone, so we’ll be guided by research, community feedback, an expert advisory network, and any organisation that wishes to contribute to this ambitious goal ” Antony added.
Vodafone New Zealand Foundation Manager Lani Evans said the strategy will see new funding streams focused on six specific areas; youth who have interacted with the justice system, youth who have interacted with Oranga Tamariki, (Ministry for Vulnerable Children), young people who have a disability, health or mental needs, young people who are long term beneficiaries, rangatahi Māori and meaningful learning.
“One of the funding streams will specifically support innovation, with a pipeline approach. Our first call for applications will begin on June 1, and we hope to see our World of Difference Alumni and new community partners in the mix.
“We’ll also work alongside our innovation accelerator Vodafone xone, and the Vodafone Foundation Germany, to pilot a residential community accelerator that will rapidly develop, test and disseminate technology-based solutions for community problems,” Lani said.