At Amazon, we are committed to supporting the community, agencies, and local government close to our fulfilment centres and delivery stations, particularly in challenging times. This means finding meaningful ways to help people in the communities where we operate in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have prioritised donations to support the vulnerable groups that have been impacted significantly, requiring assistance with education, housing, food, and basic needs.
The educational support we provide them is more vital than ever before, since the impacts of COVID-19 will be acutely felt by those who are already vulnerable.
Virtual STEM program for primary school children
We have an ongoing commitment to provide local primary school children with access to STEM education through Camp Amazon, our school holiday STEM program. While we couldn’t host the Camp Amazon in April, we are pleased to have been able to offer primary school children free access to an Amazon-sponsored virtual robotics and coding program so they can continue to build important computer literacy skills from home. The STEM program from online educational platform CoderZ, helps students understand the principles of programming, learn coding 101, and even teaches them to program their own virtual robots. The classes were made available to all year 3 to 6 students and teachers across Australia during May and June.
Maheen Yawari is in Year 6 at Wooranna Park Primary School in Dandenong, and has attended Camp Amazon at Amazon’s Melbourne fulfilment centre since the program was introduced in 2019. With Camp Amazon unable to go ahead in the school holidays, she signed up to participate in the virtual program instead.
"I really enjoyed doing the CoderZ online program. It teaches great programming skills even if we aren’t really communicating with anyone because of isolation. This was great fun and I really liked the graphics. It was something you really look forward to doing and it was easy to follow along. It was also really encouraging," said Yawari.
Supporting 'Learning for Life'
Another way we are supporting primary school children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the areas around our fulfilment centres in Dandenong, Liverpool, and Perth is through The Smith Family’s Learning For Life program. The Smith Family is the leading children’s education charity, supporting young Australians in need to succeed at school, through a unique three-pronged approach. They provide students with financial assistance for education essentials, such as uniforms and textbooks, access to targeted learning and mentoring programs, and personal support throughout their learning journey.
The Amazon donation will go towards a program which teaches participants vital financial skills and tools to plan for a successful independent future.
“We are so grateful for Amazon’s support for our Learning for Life program, which equips children experiencing disadvantage with the motivation, resilience, and life skills they need to complete their schooling and go on to better futures. The educational support we provide them is more vital than ever before, since the impacts of COVID-19 will be acutely felt by those who are already vulnerable,” said Judy Barraclough, head of strategy and philanthropy at The Smith Family.
Helping Wayss give youth at risk of homelessness a 'Step Ahead'
Our donation to Wayss will support their Step Ahead program, an accommodation program for single young people aged 16 to 25 years who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. Wayss has experienced an increased number of youth requiring support during the pandemic as a result of increased incidences of domestic violence in their homes.
“Wayss Step Ahead is a unique program,” said General Manager of Client Services, Robyn Roberts. “It’s about giving a hand-up instead of a hand-out. The Amazon donation will go towards a program, which teaches participants vital financial skills and tools to plan for a successful independent future.”
Working closely with local councils
Throughout the pandemic, we have also continued working closely with councils including the City of Greater Dandenong, City of Belmont, and Liverpool City Council to understand their needs, providing essential items such as hand sanitiser, food, clothing, and care backs for distribution to community groups.
The compassion of our team of Amazon Associates has been a real driver for our support of these programs. We thank them for their dedication to supporting the local communities around our fulfilment centres and delivery stations, during this unprecedented time.