In an outstanding effort to combat digital poverty within the Birmingham region, Qasim Majid (Former President of the ABCC) has set up Wow Dot CIC. The successful launch of Wowdot comes with its very first campaign, “Connect_In” – this campaign will be working to eradicate the digital divide, and provide 1000 families with connectivity and laptops. Wowdot has already started to donate laptops and 12 months internet connection to the most needy children in the city.
Qasim Majid, who has recently been appointed to join the board of The Child Poverty Action Forum – initiated the idea of providing disadvantaged young people with internet connectivity and digital devices, as a means to help with their schoolwork and peer-to-peer engagement. As the CEO of Wow Group of Companies (a group of companies within the digital marketing sector), the entrepreneur has facilitated introductions and partnerships for the benefit of the Connect_In campaign, which will mark the first of many.
Qasim comments, “We understand that the closure of schools has been a challenge for all young people. However, those from the poorest families are suffering considerably, due to digital exclusion, social isolation, and a lack of mental stimulation. The issue of digital poverty has been present far longer than any pandemic; however national lockdowns have certainly painted a deeply saddening picture of what the future of these young people could potentially look like, if we don’t step in to help now. In light of this, I’m delighted to have the support of The Child Poverty Action Forum for what is admittedly, my passion project; as well as our numerous other partners. This is an incredible cause, and it’s no surprise that we’ve already gathered so much positive attention – a huge thank you to every single person who’s been involved with helping us achieve our goal.”
The Connect_In campaign has been orchestrated by Qasim, to ensure that the most disadvantaged Children and families are receiving the help that they need. He has brought together a consortium well-known regional businesses and organisations to assist in eradicating this the issue of digital poverty in the city.
The partners include, Millennium Point, whose premises will serve as a drop-off and collection point for the refurbished laptops, Social Enterprise REPC Ltd who will refurbish and safely recycle the Laptops and PC’s and Intercity Technology to provide internet connectivity.
The former President is calling upon businesses and individuals to donate their old laptops and PC’s and is appealing to organisation’s and business owners to donate funds to provide internet connectivity. £300 will provide a child with a laptop and 12 months internet connectivity.
Qasim has already secured funding which will provide 10 children with laptops and internet connection. The first
few will be donated to children of Prince Albert Community Trust. Executive Head and ABCC Board member Sajid Gulzar OBE said “The issue of digital poverty has really come to the fore during the pandemic. Wowdot are shining a light on the needs of our poorest families and this project is essential for closing the digital divide in our city. Qasim has been at the forefront of this campaign and I have no doubt that his passion and commitment will convince businesses to contribute to this cause. We are confident that many more PACT families will benefit from the wonderful work undertaken by Qasim and Wowdot”.
It should be noted that whilst the initial closure of schools
in March 2020 had seen many young people being home schooled, a staggering 34% of the UK population suffered from a complete loss of connectivity, according to recent reports*. In a world that is largely digitally-driven, research claims that over a third of working-class parents are unable to afford a computer, laptop, or tablet for their children, so that they can access the internet at home.
For young people, the implications of this are stalling academic development, emotional well-being; and in many cases, physical health. Wow Dot’s campaigns, as well as their respective partners, addresses an issue that is clearly, negatively impacting the lives of future generation(s).
To find out more about Wowdot CIC, Qasim Majid, and how you can get involved, donate, and contribute towards bettering the lives of some of the poorest young people, contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wow-group.co.uk/ wowdot