Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand

“By providing these kids with laptop computers and liaising closely with teachers and schools, we can ensure that lessons are put on to disk and the learning continues uninterrupted for these children,” said Kate Russell of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand.

Since the beginning of 2004, the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand has purchased 40 laptops and through a $15,000 Mazda Foundation grant they have been able to provide another 10 to the young people on their waiting list. That is ten more children who will be able to keep up with their friends and be empowered to make the best of their education.

“They are able to get assignments in on time, be set tasks and work by their teacher as well as keeping in touch with the classroom activities and maintaining vital social relationships with their classmates. For many, a laptop is a luxury. For kids with Cystic Fibrosis they are fast becoming an essential tool to ensure education and independence are maximized,” said Kate Russell.

One of the recipients of the laptops, Makena Houston of Hawkes Bay (pictured) said: “I have spent so much time in hospital because I had a bad run of chest infections. I would have got so behind if I didn’t have my laptop. It helps me do my homework and I can do really cool presentations on it and I can email my friends which is really great.”

Makena and her friend Kimberley who also has Cystic Fibrosis are often in hospital together but because of cross-infection rules they can’t be in the same room. They used to pass notes on a string in a cup between their rooms – now they have laptops they can communicate a bit more effectively!