A helpline service for unmarried parents; a project using technology to address inequalities faced by asylum seekers, and an initiative helping young people succeed in the changing world of work. These are among the projects, announced yesterday (13.09.21) by Rethink Ireland, that will receive funding as part of their Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund 2021-2022.
The Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund is a €600,000 one-year fund created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The objective of the fund is to support services that work with children and young people through the use of technology. The fund was interested in finding innovative collaborative projects using digital solutions to solve a problem, collect relevant data or scale resources for children and young people.
The fund will support nine projects that are all focused on supporting children and young people through the use of technology. Each Awardee will receive a cash grant (of up to a maximum of €50,000) and a place on a comprehensive six-month Accelerator Programme, which will focus on equipping the projects to scale, so they can reach more people in need of their work.
Three of the nine projects who will receive funding include:
- The Building Connections project – This Nasc Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre project addresses educational inequality and improves access to services for asylum-seeking and refugee children and young people in Cork. They do this by helping them to rebuild their language skills through virtual classes, connect them to vital services through our virtual accompaniment service and help to improve mental health through links to online therapy. They use innovative technology to overcome geographical barriers to asylum seekers and refugees in remote areas and give hands-on support to help them transition to digital solutions, to ensure easier access to vital resources.
- Let’s Work it – This project run by Treoir addresses parenting issues that emerge for many parents who do not live together to create a more collaborative parenting model for their children in the Republic of Ireland. They do this by providing a suite of supports to one or both parents to build their capacity to communicate more effectively and manage conflicts that emerge. This innovative project adapts to the needs of parents and is provided online nationally, to one or both parents.
- The JA Finance Park® Virtual project – This Junior Achievement Ireland project uses technology-enabled learning to enable students to build a foundation on which they can make intelligent financial decisions that last a lifetime, including decisions related to income, expenses, savings, and credit. The programme comprises several teacher-led, in-class lessons and culminates in a hands-on, online budgeting simulation that is supported by business volunteers. On full rollout JA Finance Park – Virtual will offer two implementation options: “Entry Level” geared toward late-stage primary and early-stage junior cycle and “Advanced” suitable for all second-level students.
Rethink Ireland partnered with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) on this fund. Commenting yesterday, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman TD, said: “My Department is delighted to support Rethink Ireland’s Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund. The Awardees are doing fantastic work in communities right across the country in helping children and young people in various ways. Through this funding, we hope that the projects can develop and expand and make the most of the benefits technology has to offer. This funding will make an important difference to the lives of children, young people, and their families.”
CEO of Rethink Ireland, Deirdre Mortell, added: “Rethink Ireland would like to congratulate the Awardees of the Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology by everybody from grandparents to children to workers. It is now essential for work, accessing public services, and connecting with friends and families. But we didn’t all start from the same place, so it is critical that we address the barriers that prevent people and organisations from using it. The Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund will play a key role in providing support to not-for-profit groups that are working to support children through the use of technology.”
The Children and Youth Digital Solutions Fund 2021-2022 are being funded under the What Works Initiative, through Dormant Accounts Fund, an initiative of the DCEDIY to maximise the impact of prevention and early intervention to improve outcomes for children and young people.
For more information and for a full list of the Awardees visit: https://rethinkireland.ie/awarded_fund/children-and-youth-digital-solutions-fund-2021-2022/