Young people in West Auckland’s McLaren Park area will soon go from no community facilities to enjoying cutting-edge technology in their own Computer Clubhouse.
TrustLine newsletter, March 2012
The area, near Henderson, has been identified as one of West Auckland’s most disadvantaged communities, with little access to services and little or no social amenities. However, all that will change when the Clubhouse is officially opened in August, giving young people the ability to express themselves and a safe place to call their own.
The Computer Clubhouse provides a creative and safe community-based learning environment where young people work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop skills and build confidence through the use of technology.
The project, at 27 Corbans Avenue, is being championed locally by the McLaren Park and Henderson South Community Initiative (MPHS). When complete it will be part of a network of Clubhouses throughout the country. It will also be next door to another new community facilities, including a community hall, a commercial kitchen and community meeting spaces.
Auckland Council is paying for the primary community facility, but funding for the Clubhouse component is coming from philanthropic sources including the National Organisation of Aotearoa Clubhouses, ASB Community Trust and New Zealand Lotteries.
MPHS Manager, Rochana Sheward, says it is a dream come true for the area’s youth, and support is coming from all directions.
“We took some of our youth group members down to Clubhouse 274, in Otara, to see what they are doing and on the way back the kids were saying they couldn’t believe they would soon have this,” Rochana says.
The youth group is already talking about the potential to develop robotics and incorporate film and music into the technology mix.
“This will be a vehicle to develop youth leadership and help our young people realise their full potential,” Rochana says. “We are preparing our present youth group for it, but the Clubhouse will have an open-door policy and it will be available to all local young people.”
Keep up with developments at the new Computer Clubhouse by reading MPHS’ on-line newsletter: http://mphscommunitynews.wordpress.com/people-pride-place-community-news