Wellington-based Soup Kitchen clients and other community members now have access to IT equipment and tutors, thanks to a collaboration between the Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre, Retake the Net and Wellington ICT.
Soup Hub, a small computer lab, located at the Soup Kitchen on Tory St, will be launched by Wellington Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown on Friday 2 March.
“We’re excited to offer this facility to Soup Kitchen clients,” says Soup Kitchen Manager, Philippa Meachen. “Many of the people who come here have limited access to the internet, a resource that so many of us take for granted. We can now offer internet access and IT support to people living on the margins of society”, Ms Meachen says.
Sibylle Schwarz, initiator of the Soup Hub project and co-founder of Retake the Net, says that the ultimate motivation for the Soup Hub was to use the power of the web to establish meaningful connections between people.
"We believe poverty goes beyond inadequate food, clothing, or shelter. It also comes with a lack of access to information and knowledge; of ways to communicate and share; of safe environments that foster inspiration and ideas. With the Soup Hub, we help empower those in our communities who need it the most," Ms Schwarz says.
Refugees and migrants who attend MCLaSS English lessons at the Compassion Centre will also benefit from the Hub and tutors. MCLaSS teacher, Shelley Abu-Shanab says: “We are delighted that our students will have access to computers in the classroom. It will mean we can make sure that all our students feel confident using computers at a basic level.”
The Soup Hub will be staffed by trained volunteers, who will offer one-to-one support to users.