Countries around the world are facing uncharted territory as we collectively battle the COVID-19 pandemic, and each of us is being presented with new challenges—the charitable sector is no different. Now more than ever, we need to come together to share our insight and support those in need. Our President and CEO, Sue Gillespie, joined leading CEOs from the Canadian charitable sector to share how the federal government—a longstanding supporter of Pathways to Education and Canadian youth—can continue providing critical support during this difficult time.
This global pandemic has exposed something to many that Pathways to Education has seen firsthand for years: that access to technology is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity for educational success. It’s an area the federal government has worked hard on addressing over the years, however, it is now clear more must be done.
“Access to technology is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity.”
Pathways to Education works at removing barriers for youth living in low-income communities across Canada by providing a combination of academic, financial, social, and one-on-one supports. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these barriers and challenged us to find innovative ways to continue this support.
While schools are closed and social distancing is our new reality, we are connecting with students and their families to respond to their immediate needs, adapting our programming to leverage technology, and continuing to provide a sense of belonging and hope virtually.
As we continue to consider our response, it is essential that we think about those in greatest need—parents who are suddenly having to choose between putting food on the table and an internet connection so their children can continue learning, families who no longer have access to a computer at school or work to stay connected with social services, and new Canadians trying to navigate this situation with limited English skills.
“It is essential that we think about those in greatest need, like parents who are suddenly having to choose between putting food on the table and an internet connection so their children can continue learning.”
These are challenges most Canadians don’t experience, as their children have the technology and means to continue receiving an education, while the gap between them and those from low-income communities grows. We believe the federal government can make a difference in the lives of those who need it most by ensuring everyone has access to technology, which is now more than ever a universal basic need.
By continuing to recognize Pathways to Education and other social sector organizations as essential services, the federal government can contribute to positive collective impact—both short-term and long-term—on families, communities, and our country.
Click here to read the full article on Future of Good with recommendations from non-profit CEOs across Canada.