Far North tech gets boost from pro­gramme

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Kerik­eri-based Mid North Fam­ily Sup­port was one of three com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions that ‘grad­u­ated’ from the Voda­fone New Zealand Foun­da­tion’s Change Ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gramme, with pro­to­types of their tech­nol­ogy-based so­lu­tions now ready for fur­ther test­ing with youth.

The projects spanned men­tal health, goal-set­ting and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, each group tak­ing their idea from con­cept to pro­to­type, or min­i­mum vi­able prod­uct (MVP), dur­ing the five-week in­cu­ba­tor pro­gramme.

Mid North Fam­ily Sup­port op­er­a­tions man­ager Dav­ina Smold­ers said the Kia We­hikore Wit­ness­ing Fam­ily Harm app she had been work­ing on en­abled health pro­fes­sion­als to en­gage with ran­gatahi suf­fer­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

The in­ter­ac­tive game-based app was de­signed to teach 12 to 14 year olds what they could do when they saw do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing where to get help.

Ms Smold­ers is also the di­rec­tor of NalHaven, a Nal­trex­one Res­i­den­tial Treat­ment Cen­tre, a mother.

Kia We­hikore is the sec­ond app in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Keep­ing Safe series.

Voda­fone says the Change Ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gramme is a key part of its 10-year strat­egy, aimed at trans­form­ing the lives of ex­cluded and dis­ad­van­taged young peo­ple by en­sur­ing they have ac­cess to re­sources and op­por­tu­ni­ties. Foun­da­tion man­ager Lani Evans said she be­lieved this year’s par­tic­i­pants demon­strated how tech­nol­ogy could play a sig­nif­i­cant role in help­ing com­mu­ni­ties up­lift their young peo­ple.

“We’re proud to have been able to share Voda­fone’s tech­nol­ogy ca­pa­bil­ity and re­sources with our Change Ac­cel­er­a­tor par­tic­i­pants over the last five weeks. It’s ex­cit­ing to see all our par­tic­i­pants progress their ideas to a point where they have real po­ten­tial to drive trans­for­ma­tional change for youth in their com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

Te Tihi o Ruahine Wha¯nau Ora Al­liance Char­i­ta­ble Trust, based in Palmer­ston North, com­pleted its sec­ond it­er­a­tion of its Te Mauri Moe­moea¯ web app, a game for ran­gatahi, wha¯nau and com­mu­nity to dream to­gether, achieve to­gether, build stronger con­nec­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence wha¯nau ora (fam­ily health).

Ana­mata Cafe YOSS, based in Taupo¯, com­pleted the first it­er­a­tion of a youth health as­sess­ment, us­ing HEADSS (Home, Ed­u­ca­tion, Ac­tiv­i­ties, Drugs, Sex and sex­u­al­ity, Safety) frame­work, high­light­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for youth to have a say about im­por­tant as­pects of their health.

The plan is to de­velop a youth-friendly dig­i­tal tool to in­crease en­gage­ment and re­spon­sive­ness for health pro­fes­sion­als.

Each group had un­der­taken a two-week ‘sprint’ process with 18 vol­un­teers from Voda­fone and part­ners, equat­ing to 1360 hours of vol­un­teer time — time well spent ac­cord­ing to foun­da­tion chair­man Antony Wel­ton.

“We’ve been deeply im­pressed by the pas­sion and com­mit­ment of our Change Ac­cel­er­a­tor par­tic­i­pants,” he said. “Their in­no­va­tive ideas come from the unique knowl­edge they have of the is­sues fac­ing youth in their re­gions, and, com­bined with the power of our tech­nol­ogy and peo­ple through­out the pro­gramme, they will re­turn to their com­mu­ni­ties in an ex­cit­ing po­si­tion to drive mean­ing­ful so­cial change.”

They could ap­ply for fur­ther fund­ing to con­tinue de­vel­op­ing their tech­nol­ogy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.