Computers in Homes wins award at 2001 Stockholm Challenge

Stockholm Challenge 2004 Participant BadgePress Release – Stockholm, 28 September 2001: The Computers In Homes project was one of 3 winners in the education section of the prestigious Stockholm Challenge Award 2001, announced today in Stockholm. Computers in Homes, along with a project from Laos and one from the United States, was selected from among 23 finalists.

Computers In Homes is an initiative of the 2020 Communications Trust with support from the Ministry of Education and Victoria Link Limited. This year’s Stockholm Challenge drew nearly 1,000 entries from around the world. The Computers in Homes project was the only New Zealand project to reach the finals.

Clare Coman, representing the 2020 Communications Trust and Barbara Craig from Victoria University were present in Stockholm to receive the Award on behalf of the project’s partners and participants. They were amongst 60 finalists also present at the pre-judging exhibition held earlier in the week.

Photo: Clare Coman and Barbara Craig at the Stockholm awards ceremony
L-R: Clare Coman and Barbara Craig at the Stockholm awards ceremony

“We feel so honoured to win this award,” said Barbara Craig from Stockholm this morning. “There are so many fantastic initiatives amongst the finalists.” Barbara also said that she wished everyone associated with the project could have been part of the Awards ceremony. “The ceremony was held in the Stockholm Town Hall and in the same room where Nobel prizes are awarded. We even had the same menu, including reindeer meat, cloud berries and flaming ice-cream cake, that the Nobel Award recipients get,” she said

The Stockholm Challenge Awards are a global initiative arising from the Declaration of Helsinki, 1998, when mayors of the world, including Wellington’s Mark Blumsky, pledged to work to realise the promise of equal opportunities and fair access to computing and the information society.

Computers in Homes has established several pilot programmes where families in Newtown, Cannons Creek, Panmure Bridge, and Tuhoe Iwi were given computers, access to the internet and free training. The families living in areas chosen for the pilots were invited by their local school to apply.

Computers were given to those families who would not normally have been able to afford one. Contracts of commitment to use and learn were signed by all participating families.

Computers in Homes is a partnership led by the Wellington-based 2020 Communications Trust and Victoria University and has received strong support from the Ministry of Education. Over 300 computers have been distributed so far.

2020 Communications Trust chairperson, Ian Thomson says, “This award confirms our belief in the community benefits arising from focusing on ways that people who would not normally use computers can transform their lives and the lives of others. Two of our pilots are now a year old and our research is showing the results have been very successful, many participants have obtained jobs, improved their school performance or bonded more strongly with their families abroad.”

“Winning the Stockholm Award gives us a great boost in our efforts to work with Government and the community to continue to expand the reach of this programme and others we lead such as Living Heritage and Positive Computing for Parents.”