Computer Aid International held an event this week to celebrate an impressive milestone – 200,000 PCs being supplied to developing countries to reduce poverty.
The UK registered charity data-wipes, tests and professionally refurbishes donated ICT devices from UK companies so they can be put to good use in non-profit programs in developing countries.
I found their event to be a real eye-opener into how redundant UK hardware is being used creatively to help some of the poorest people on the planet.
(Left to right: Neil Morgan from Sainsbury’s, Tom Butcher from the Met Office, Dick Uyttewaal of Macha Works, Gladys Muhunyo of Computer Aid in Kenya and David Grimshaw of the Royal Holloway, University of London).
The ZubaBox particularly intrigued me. Surely this must be the remotest of remote IT assets to manage? Located in a remote village in sub-Saharan Africa, the ZubaBox is a self contained Internet café running on self-generating solar power, built from a second hand sea container and retired PC’s.
The result is a small remote village connected to the wider world – and with connection brings better crop yields, better healthcare and a self-sufficient economy.
Computer Aid are looking to process another 50,000 PCs in the next year – So if a hardware refresh is on the horizon and you want to do something really valuable for developing countries whilst also meeting your regulatory requirements – please give these guys a shout. A list of similar organizations outside the UK can be found under the ‘International Options’ section within this article.