Laptop delivery delights WBOP children

Waihi Beach School students enjoying their new laptops with Council's laptop fairy Sam Wilburn. Supplied photo.

Tamariki and rangatahi from local schools and youth groups have received a visit from Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s laptop fairy, bringing donations of laptop computers.

In an effort to break down the digital divide and give old Council laptops a new lease of life, Western Bay of Plenty District Council has launched a laptop donation scheme for groups in need of digital resources.

Waihi Beach Primary School, Katikati Community Centre Rangatahi Pathway Project, and COLAB Te Puke’s Homework Hub all received laptops which Council no longer had use for.

Council’s Community Advisor, or the ‘laptop fairy’ Sam Wilburn had the wonderful task of dropping off the laptops to the lucky recipients.

“It was fantastic to be able to donate these much-needed digital devices to groups that really appreciate them,” says Sam.

“We know that the ability to access digital devices is incredibly important, now more than ever, and Council is happy to have the opportunity to help in some way. The laptops have been completely refurbished, with plenty of life still left in them for tamariki to learn and thrive.”

Waihi Beach School Principal Rachael Coll says the laptops will help with the digital literacy and competencies that they need, as well as assisting in their goal for digital equity – to provide access for all.

“Digital access has proven to be variable and inequitable in our school community, especially during the lockdowns with limited access to the tools required for learning from home.” says Rachael. 

“Ngā mihi nui to Western Bay of Plenty District Council for the laptops, we are very grateful.”

Katikati Community Centre Youth Employment Coach Melody Lamb says they are approaching the second phase of their Rangatahi Pathway Project, assisting rangatahi in their journey to become work-ready and employed.

“Many of the rangatahi we are aiming to reach in this phase will not have a computer for various reasons, and the fact we can now offer a computer to use will add huge value in helping them reach their goals,” says Melody.

COLAB Wellbeing and Resilience Facilitator Hinemoa Wetere says the laptops will go a long way, helping young people in Te Puke that have limited resources and internet services.

“Some of our rangatahi don't have access to laptops or computers, so this donation will help bridge that gap,” says Hinemoa.

Council will continue to donate laptops that are no longer suitable for Council work to kura and youth programmes as they become available.

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