National Youth Organisation Promotes Advance Technical Skills And Broadband Infrastructure

Computer Clubhouse New Zealand, a national organization that provides access to state-of-the art technology and helps youth develop 21st century skills, will be officially launched by Prime Minister John Key.
By: Kube Jones-Neill
 
March 17, 2010 - PRLog -- Computer Clubhouse New Zealand, a national organization that provides access to state-of-the art technology and helps youth develop 21st century skills, will be officially launched by Prime Minister John Key.
The organisation is celebrating a major milestone event----the opening of four new Computer Clubhouses around the country, and presenting plans for six new sites over the next two years.
By the end of 2012, Computer Clubhouse New Zealand will be serving just over 35,000 young people and their families in communities across the country.  Their mission is to nurture the development of a future labour force that is highly skilled, innovative, and well socialised- - all qualities vital to New Zealand’s economic future.  
“There is no question that the Computer Clubhouse is having a positive impact. It is just fantastic to see youngsters working with state-of-the-art equipment, connecting across their communities and around the globe, grounding themselves in what will be the future of New Zealand, and I am very supportive of the project,” said Mr. Key.
Computer Clubhouse New Zealand is an example of the government’s strategy of partnering with the private and non-profit sectors to develop appropriate policy and sustainable financial investments in innovative and effective programmes, infrastructure such as ultra high speed broadband, and ground breaking initiatives such as Trades Academies and the Youth Guarantee Programme.
Mike Usmar, Chief Executive Officer of Computer Clubhouse New Zealand says, “Today we are launching a 21st Century movement in our country...very much like the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides that helped develop and shape social values and certain life skills in the previous century.  The Computer Clubhouse New Zealand movement will continue those traditions, but with added emphasis on incorporating digital and other advance technologies into every day and life-long learning for youth, their families and communities.”
Filemoni Timoteo, Chairman of the Network of Aoteroa Clubhouses explains how the Computer Clubhouse philosophy is firmly entrenched in the investment of time, energy and resources into young people. “This is not welfare, handouts or the result of a wish-washy grant scheme. This is about the social bottom line joining the economic bottom line with a greatly enhanced return on investment”, he says.



Over the past six years, the flagship Computer Clubhouse 274 in Otara, Manukau City and the Computer Clubhouse Trust have established an ardent group of public and private sector partners.  The responsibility for funding and other resources is shared across the community, the private and philanthropic sectors, and local and central Governments.
For example, two years ago, the Tindall Foundation paid for the fibre network that provided the Clubhouse its own ultra-fast broadband and a large number of laptops that connect around 5,500 individuals in the Otara community. ASB Community Trust provided partial funding for the purpose-built building; and Microsoft has provided software licences and other resources.
The Crown’s “Digital Strategies Community Partnership” as well as the Ministry for Youth Development and Manakau City Council provided material support. Computer Clubhouse New Zealand has strategic relationships with University of Auckland and other tertiary institutions across the country; and with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Museum of Science in Boston, Intel Education, and the American Science Foundation.
ENDS
For more information, contact:
Kubé Jones on 021 889 449 or
kube@computerclubhouse.org.nz
www.computerclubhouse.org.nz

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The Computer Clubhouse Network is a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment, where young people from under-served communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, build confidence.
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