Human Rights Commission Award Participation 2012-14

Computers in Homes Project 2014

The 2020 Communications Trust is a registered Charitable Trust established in 1996 as part of Wellington City Council’s InfoCity project to help Wellington citizens become more digitally literate and in particular to take advantage of the emerging internet.

Since then, the Trust’s reach has expanded nationally via a number of highly acclaimed initiatives – each has a particular focus on empowering people to use ICT as a pathway to engage more fully in the communities, their countries and in today’s global village.

The vision of the Trust is for all New Zealanders to be able to fully participate in a digital world. The specific role for the Trust is to provide leadership in digital inclusion, including promoting digital literacy and digital skills, with a special focus on communities that are economically and digitally disadvantaged.

The Trust works collaboratively with numerous other organisations, nationally and regionally, to implement practical projects in pursuit of its vision and mission.

The Trust won the Internet Access and Digital Skills Award in the 2012 Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards for their Stepping UP-bus initiative which delivered internet access to thousands of citizens, particularly in Christchurch by equipping a bus with laptops as a mobile digital learning centre and travelling to participants’ streets on a regular schedule as well as being available for school and community use. In addition to the digital skills training, it provides opportunities for families without internet connections in their home to have access to the Internet and have helped empowered residents, particularly those impacted by the recent earthquakes.

2020 Trust’s main activity is the Computers in Homes (CIH) programme which reaches families in low-decile communities who do not have full access to educational, employment and social opportunities owing to limited access to technology and the internet. Of the 1600 families per year who benefit from Computers in Homes, over 60% identify as Maori; 13% as Pasifika; and 8% have a refugee background. CIH Coordinators work hard in 18 regions across Aotearoa NZ to create digital inclusion for families, schools and communities who would otherwise be left behind. Inspiring Communities has recognised Computers in Homes as an example in best practice for Community-led/Whanau-centred development.

 


Computers in Homes Project 2013

Computers in Homes is the Trust’s flagship programme. This educational intervention programme began as a pilot project in 2000, in the lowest-income community in the country, its purpose being to raise the literacy level of children from low decile schools. The project provides a high-end refurbished computer, internet access, training and technical support to families who would not otherwise have the opportunity to be part of the online digital world. Parents complete computer training at their children’s schools and make a small financial contribution before the PC goes home. They learn basic digital literacy skills, how to assist with homework and keep the children safe online. Training includes how to care for their machine, plus access the technical support procedures set in place via the school.

As the scheme has developed, parents have also embraced the learning experience for themselves, so the focus has broadened to family literacy, with the inclusion of the Stepping UP programme for adults to upskill towards better employment opportunities. In some regions, the steering committees have expanded their vision further to encompass community literacy, and schools report increased school/home communication and more positive interaction between parents and teachers.

Some parents have completed university degrees and other qualifications in teaching, social work, computing and the arts. What began as a project to bridge the digital divide has become a notable contribution to digital literacy and social capital in low income communities

There are now 15 regions serving around 12,000 families with school-aged children. Government new settler programmes have incorporated CIH into their education strategy for newly arrived refugees, with the additional support of interpreters, family liaison workers, transportation and babysitting to remove barriers to participation. It is envisaged that the access to information for new settlers and the engagement with their children’s schools will assist families to readjust to a new country and become part of the wider community. A minimum of 95 refugee families are provided with training and computers per year.


 

Computers in Homes Project 2012

Computers in Homes is the Trust’s flagship programme. This educational intervention programme began as a pilot project in 2000, in the lowest-income community in the country, its purpose being to raise the literacy level of children from low decile schools. The project provides a high-end refurbished computer, internet access, training and technical support to families who would not otherwise have the opportunity to be part of the online digital world. Parents complete computer training at their children’s schools and make a small financial contribution before the PC goes home. They learn basic digital literacy skills, how to assist with homework and keep the children safe online. Training includes how to care for their machine, plus access the technical support procedures set in place via the school.

As the scheme has developed, parents have also embraced the learning experience for themselves, so the focus has broadened to family literacy, with the inclusion of the Stepping UP programme for adults to upskill towards better employment opportunities. In some regions, the steering committees have expanded their vision further to encompass community literacy, and schools report increased school/home communication and more positive interaction between parents and teachers.

Some parents have completed university degrees and other qualifications in teaching, social work, computing and the arts. What began as a project to bridge the digital divide has become a notable contribution to digital literacy and social capital in low income communities

There are now 15 regions serving around 7500 families with school-aged children. Government new settler programmes have incorporated CIH into their education strategy for newly arrived refugees, with the additional support of interpreters, family liaison workers, transportation and babysitting to remove barriers to participation. It is envisaged that the access to information for new settlers and the engagement with their children’s schools will assist families to readjust to a new country and become part of the wider community.

DORA (Digital On Road Access)

Over November, the ICT bus will travel to communities where there is still limited or no infrastructure, transport and services. CIH Regional Coordinator Sue Davidson has been committed to serving the disconnected school suburbs of Eastern Christchurch and has loyally stuck with them throughout their 2 years of 3200 earthquakes of 3+ magnitudes. Now, with funding from InternetNZ and the technical vision of Laurence Zwimpfer, Sue has been able to bring her vision to life.