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Applications are now welcome for the Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund.

The Fund aims to ensure ethnic communities can fully participate in Aotearoa New Zealand by increasing their confidence using digital technologies.

Anusha Guler, Executive Director of the Office of Ethnic Communities, says that the first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown brought to light the already significant impact of digital exclusion for our ethnic communities – those who identify as African, Asian, Continental European, Latin American and Middle Eastern.

“During COVID-19, most of us continue to heavily rely on technology for crucial public health information and information about Government support. However, many ethnic community members are unable to access this information.

“This is an existing and ongoing concern for ethnic communities and its impact goes beyond the pandemic.

”The inability to fully participate in an increasingly digital world further exacerbates challenges already experienced by our communities, such as accessing jobs and training, and staying socially connected.”

The priorities of the Fund are to ensure that our communities:

  • have the skills and digital know-how to use digital technology and the internet in ways that are appropriate and beneficial;
  • are motivated to understand how digital technology and the internet can help them connect, learn or access opportunities; and
  • trust the Internet and online services, and have the confidence and digital literacy to manage personal information; and
  • understand and avoid scams, harmful content and misleading information.

The Fund is worth a total of $200,000 and applications are open until 28 April 2021.

“I encourage all groups to apply if your project supports the ethnic communities of Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Ms Guler.

More information, including how to make an application, is available at https://www.ethniccommunities.govt.nz/our-programmes/ethnic-communities-digital-inclusion-fund

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