In 2017, Remark-it created Digital Wings as an independent charitable trust. The Digital Wings Trust works with socially and environmentally responsible business and public sector organisations to donate quality IT equipment to charities and community organisations. Preference is given to those working in youth education for employment, but donors can nominate charities of their choice. All equipment supplied through Digital Wings is re-imaged using software licenses acquired under the Microsoft Accredited Refurbisher Scheme (MARS). In addition, Remark-it provides a full one year warranty and support, as well as a commitment to take back and recycle equipment at end of life.
Over 100 community organisations have already benefited from the Digital Wings programme through the receipt of quality IT equipment during the first two years. This is now expected to expand rapidly following an announcement in May 2019 that the Government has approved a grant from the Waste Minimisation Fund of $360,000 to help expand the initiative.
The Program Director is Di Daniels MNZM. Di was chosen as a finalist in the 2017 NZ Women of Influence Awards in the Diversity category. In 2018, Di won the TechSoup Lifetime Service Award for Technology Service in the Charity Sector. Di was also awarded the Member of New Zealand Order of Merit MNZM for Services to Digital Literacy and Education in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. You can read about Di in the NZ Herald article here.
LIFT is a social enterprise situated in the Hawkes Bay. Their goal is to achieve 100% youth employment in the region.
LIFT provides work-readiness, resources, tools, training, work experience, and pastoral support. Activities and services are also provided to employers in the region, creating wrap-around pastoral care and pathways to transition young people into employment. Many Hawkes Bay rangatahi don’t have computers or laptops at home. This means they have not been able to participate in work readiness or job searching activities. However, this has all changed as a result of the Digital Wings equipment gifts. Achievements to date include:
Without the support of Digital Wings, LIFT would not have been able to get up and running as quickly as they did and offer the services required by their customers at the outset. The ongoing kanohi-ki-te-kanohi relationship with Digital Wings has continued to support the growth and development of LIFT. Ongoing feedback is sought from rangatahi, whanau and communities that access LIFT services; knowing that Digital Wings as a partner can help respond to that feedback with resources and tools is critical.