2022 03 28 Digital inclusion fund news tile

The Ministry for Ethnic Communities is now welcoming applications for the second round of the Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund.

The fund, which was first established by the then Office of Ethnic Communities in February 2021, aims to ensure ethnic communities can fully participate in Aotearoa New Zealand’s society by increasing their confidence using digital technologies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges that digital exclusion presents to ethnic communities, as more people have had to rely on digital technologies for access to crucial information on public health and government support.

Richard Foy, Deputy Chief Executive, Community and Partnerships at the Ministry for Ethnic Communities, says that the impact of digital exclusion for ethnic communities is significant.

“Not being able to fully participate in an increasingly digital world adds to some of the challenges already experienced by ethnic communities, such as staying socially connected and accessing jobs and training.

“This is an ongoing concern for ethnic communities and its impact goes beyond the pandemic”, Richard Foy says.

During its first round of applications, the fund distributed $200,000 among 12 initiatives that supported the digital inclusion of ethnic communities across the country.

The priorities of the second year of the Fund are to ensure that ethnic 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 will give special consideration to applications that show collaboration with other organisations or community groups and ethnic community-led projects and initiatives that can prove the benefits to one or more of the following groups:

  • not in education or training, or unemployed;
  • people living with a disability;
  • women;
  • new migrants/former-refugees (in New Zealand less than 5 years); and
  • offenders and ex-offenders.

The Ethnic Communities Digital Inclusion Fund is worth a total of $200,000 and applications are open until 23 May 2022.

“I would like to invite community organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand to learn more about the fund and to apply if their projects fit within the fund’s priorities. We look forward to working with them to improve the digital inclusion of our country’s ethnic communities”, Richard Foy says.

More information is available on the Ministry for Ethnic Communities website.

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