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Take one step forward

Vivian Chandra, Guest Post. 22 November 2018, 5:00 am
Take one step forward

Do you work for a corporate that gives you the day off to volunteer? Have you used it yet? This year? Ever?

We've chatted with many companies and more and more organisations are giving their staff corporate volunteer days, but they often remain unused. Some of the organisation we've talked to say there is only about a 25% uptake of the volunteering days and we think that's a missed opportunity.

Welcome to The Big Shift Education. We are a collaborative movement of for-profit and social-profit organisations, creating, focusing and  accelerating opportunities for social impact in education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our first collaboration is Voluntari.ly,  an organisation that aims to solve that problem once and for all.

There are over 100,000 unused volunteer days in New Zealand corporates,  days that young people could benefit from, by connecting to expert help that exists in business, by meeting people who have been where they are and have made it up the ladder into business or technology roles, or whatever takes their fancy.

Voluntari.ly connects schools with corporate volunteers and short technology course content. The new Digital Technology Curriculum (Hangarau Matihiko) launched in December 2017. Schools are expected to be teaching to the curriculum by 2020. There are training programmes (for teachers) dotted around the country but to truly excite the tamariki and rangatahi with new material, they need expert voices in the room, connecting them with a real-world context.

Enter NZ Inc. Many of our large corporations have volunteer programmes. They want to give back to the communities they work in. The current systems out there that facilitate this, offer mostly unskilled labour opportunities (painting, cleaning beaches etc). As a result, many employees choose not to use their hours, which is a waste of a plentiful resource.

The third side of the triangle is a vast range of digital technology content providers. There is a wealth of programmes out there, most free, that could be used in any situation. Schools lack the technical knowledge to take these and run them without expert assistance.

In order to be a movement, however, we need YOU. We are kicking this all off with a hackfest on the 8th and 9th of December at the Civic Building here in Manukau, Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).

If you are passionate about extending STEAM opportunities for kids New Zealand wide and you can help, come join us if you don't live in Auckland and want to help, please consider giving us a few dollars if anything, it'll mean we can feed the volunteers at the hackfest!

OMGTech! is one such organisation. We are a non-profit organisation with a five-year track record of working with industry volunteers in schools. We are the first initiative spun out of the Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust and are spearheading Voluntari.ly to be the next.

Voluntari.ly is an innovative marketplace that links the three sides seamlessly, facilitating long-lasting relationships that will create increased engagement and excitement into a burgeoning industry that sorely needs more Kiwis.

Viv Chandra is a volunteer with OMGTech! and occasional/annual Techblog guest poster.


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