Educational institutions around the UK are being asked to donate their out of date computer equipment to charity, ComputerWorldUK reports. The appeal is being organized by Computer Aid International, and the technology donated by the schools, colleges, and universities will be used in an academic setting in developing countries.
Computer Aid International has been collecting older electronics all over the country, packaging it and sending it to schools in poorer regions all over the world. There, the computers are used by students who have had no previous access to technology of any kind. Many colleges and universities around UK already have a donation agreements with Computer Aid, routinely turning over their obsolete computer towers, monitors, laptops and peripherals. Oxford University, University College London, Westminster University and many others are among those who already have a working relationship with the charity. Some, like Royal Holloway University, have been regularly donating equipment for nearly ten years.
Anja ffrench, director of communications at Computer Aid, said: “In an increasingly global economy it is critical that children and students in Africa and Latin America are IT literate.
“By donating computers and monitors to Computer Aid organisations can make a significant contribution to poverty reduction by helping children learn valuable IT skills which are essential to their country’s development.”
Computer Aid International individually catalogs and tracks every piece of equipment it receives so that donors may, at any time, find out where their donations have ended up. Typically, the charity has an up-to-date list of which programs, universities and schools are making use of the previously unwanted computer technology.
The lack of emphasis on charitable giving as one of the solutions to the glut of discarded electronics in the recently announced European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive proved disappointing for Computer Aid. The organization had hoped that by encouraging reuse instead, the European Parliament could have made more large organizations that carry large technology inventory consider donation as a means of getting rid of computers they could no longer use.
“We are extremely disappointed that no reuse target has been included,” said Anja ffrench, director of communications at Computer Aid.
“The suggested five percent reuse target put forward by the European Parliament last year was, in our opinion, already far too low.
“Including a reuse target would have ensured that reuse really occurs and would help to raise awareness of the need to consider reuse before opting for the less environmentally-friendly option of recycling.”