It takes a village...

July 03, 2020

Burnaby community members, Telus and SFU form an alliance to get vulnerable communities online during the COVID-19 emergency.

How would you cope with distancing and isolation if you couldn’t access the Internet? Or if you didn’t have a phone? That was a reality for a number of people in our community, and now, thanks to the quick and ready participation of countless community leaders and city-run organizations in Burnaby, it’s not.

Over March and April, Burnaby community members, Telus, and SFU staff collaborated to get vulnerable communities online during the COVID-19 emergency. One hundred phones and twenty tablets will now ensure that some of Burnaby’s most isolated and vulnerable community members are online soon. 

The initiative was championed by the Simon Fraser University Office of Community Engagement and supported by Telus, who graciously supplied the hardware and data/text plans. The Telus Mobility for Good COVID Response efforts are evolving and growing to adapt to the evolving needs of community members. Many community organizations serving the needs of seniors, women & children in shelters, homeless and youth lacking tools to access educational programs will be served by this partnership. Burnaby community leaders, stewarded by the Burnaby Primary Care Network meet weekly to tackle ongoing COVID-related issues affecting residents in Burnaby. Social support and financial resources for issues such as lack of technology, isolation, food security and elder care are just some of the ongoing gaps commanding their attention.. 

To learn about the  programs, initiatives and resources developed from this community-led response, check out the Burnaby Coronavirus Network website. 

The SFU Office of Community Engagement invites you to be part of the ongoing discussion and COVID response and recovery activity through a newly initiated SFU-Community COVID-19 Response and Recovery Network. This is a place to connect, build and share resources, and create a positive difference during unstable times.