My name is Sum (my name means ‘heart’) and I’m Vodafone’s Foundation and Sustainability Manager. I’ve been with Vodafone for five years and I love it here and my role. The Vodafone Foundation is Vodafone’s very own charitable arm established 12 years ago. Our vision is to see all young people engaged in meaningful learning, thereby enabling all young people to reach their potential. This is something I feel very passionate about and have been able to volunteer with several great youth organisations including the Youthline, Foundation for Youth Development and InZone Education Foundation. Growing up can be hard sometimes and I believe we need to make sure our young people feel valued and know that we believe in them - so that they can be all that they can be!
I have many highlights during the year but one of them undoubtedly relates to our World of Difference programme. World of Difference is our flagship programme where every year we make the call out to the public for passionate people to put their hand up and to tell us how they would like to make a world of difference for young New Zealanders (related to getting them engaged in meaningful learning). We get to fund up to six individuals, usually from all over NZ, full-time to work with a youth charity of their choice for a year. This programme is pretty special and I’m proud of the fact that this idea started here in NZ back in 2002 and has been so successful it’s been rolled out across 20 other Vodafone countries – how cool is that?
We’re calling for entries for our World of Difference programme now, from 18 August to 26 September. Check out our website www.vodafone.co.nz/wod to find out more and spread the word if you know of any super stars or organisations in your communities that could do with a leg-up from the Vodafone Foundation.
What’s most unique about World of Difference is that it’s much much more than a financial grant. As a high-engagement funder, I get to work closely with our World of Difference recipients to help them achieve their outcomes whether this is connecting them with our passionate employees who are happy to mentor or volunteer their time, facilitating hui for our alumni of World of Difference recipients (as you can imagine, this is a pretty special group of people) so that they have opportunities to network/collaborate/learn or finding other ways we can support with Vodafone’s expertise in technology or its relationships with the Vodafone Warriors. People at Vodafone are always willing to help and so anything feels possible!
Please let me know if you have any questions about our World of Difference programme (or any of our other Foundation programmes – I haven’t been able to talk about them all here otherwise I’d be here all day!). I’ll be back to answer your questions directly until Wold of Difference applications close on 26 September. Thanks for listening and I’m looking forward to your questions or any feedback.