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Optima helps kids to SHINE

  • 25 October, 2005 12:15

<p>Optima Technology Solutions (ASX:OPI), the leading Australian computer manufacturer, has donated $10,000 worth of computer equipment to ‘SHINE for Kids’, a community-based cooperative that provides support to children with a carer or parent in prison.</p>
<p>Established in 1982, SHINE for Kids is a state-wide service provider that aims to improve the emotional, psychological and physical well-being of children touched by the criminal justice system. Helping youths reach their full potential, the organisation offers an extensive range of mentoring, education and case management services, and also provides an onsite childcare facility for families visiting inmates.</p>
<p>While SHINE receives some funding from the NSW State Government, it heavily relies on private sponsorship to support its extensive portfolio of services. The Optima donation will help the organisation grow its ‘Brighter Futures Project’ that promotes educational opportunities for children.</p>
<p>“There are over 15,000 children in New South Wales alone that have a parent in full time custody. These kids are the forgotten victims of crime, often lacking the support network required to realise their own self-worth and individual potential,” said Gloria Larman, Chief Executive Officer, SHINE for Kids.</p>
<p>“These kids are often far behind other children their own age in terms of IT and literacy skills, so we try and expose them to as many educational resources and positive influences as possible to assist with their development. The Optima donation will better equip us to achieve this objective.”</p>
<p>Optima has supplied SHINE for Kids with a selection of powerful and reliable desktop and notebook computers that support a range of multimedia tasks and applications. All systems have been upgraded to suit the organisation’s requirements and are backed by Optima’s extensive warranties, ensuring the longevity of the SHINE network.</p>
<p>“As an Australian-owned company we really believe in supporting local community initiatives, and SHINE for Kids certainly is a worthy cause,” said Sue Hartmann, Government Sales Manager, Optima. “We understand that educational technology can be instrumental in a child’s development. It is important for kids to familiarise themselves with computers and the Internet, and learn the skills they need to progress at school and later in the PC-driven workforce.</p>
<p>“While many of the kids at SHINE are able to access computers at school, they don’t have access to the same infrastructure at home, and this is where we’re trying to help SHINE fill the void.”</p>
<p>The new computers will be placed in the organisation’s drop-in and Activity Centres located in Silverwater, Bathurst and their new facility in Windsor. Optima will be networking the computers so that SHINE’s 26 staff members and team of over 130 volunteers will be able to better communicate and coordinate activities.</p>
<p>SHINE for Kids is currently looking to recruit new volunteers to better support its new IT infrastructure and to help with general group activities, ranging from working with children of various ages to assisting with administration.</p>
<p>“We rely on the efforts of volunteers to keep the SHINE for Kids operation running and at the moment we are particularly looking for people to help out on weekends at our Bathurst, Silverwater and Windsor Activity Centres,” Larman said.</p>
<p>Anyone interested in joining SHINE for Kid’s Volunteer Program is invited to contact Jeni Monks, Coordinator of Volunteers, on (02) 9714 3000 or 0414 296 859.</p>
<p>A high-resolution image of 11-year-old Daniel using the new Optima computer at the Silverwater Activity Centre is available at:</p>
<p>http://www.watterson.com.au/Downloads/Optima/Business_Releases/Shine_3.jpg</p>
<p>http://www.watterson.com.au/Downloads/Optima/Business_Releases/Shine_2.jpg</p>
<p>About Optima Technology Solutions</p>
<p>Founded in 1989 Optima has grown to become the largest Australian manufacturer of notebook and desktop personal computers, and servers. Headquartered in Sydney, with branch offices in Melbourne and Brisbane, Optima is ideally placed by size and strength to promptly supply and actively support customers through a nationwide supply and service network.</p>

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