Computer Aid International Launches Christmas PC Appeal to Help African Students and Bridge the Digital Divide

November 21, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
London, November 21, 2007: UK Schools and colleges are being urged to donate their used computer equipment this Christmas to help Computer Aid International provide greater access to education in developing countries. The world’s largest and most experienced not-for-profit supplier of professionally refurbished PCs to the developing world has launched its appeal in time for the Christmas holidays.

“The grinding cycle of poverty and disadvantage cannot be broken unless poor countries have the technical means and skills-base to develop their economies,” said Anja Ffrench, PC donations manager, Computer Aid International. “In an increasingly global economy it is absolutely essential that graduates of African business schools, teacher training colleges and universities are IT literate.”

The education sector has already made a significant contribution to Computer Aid, with 2000 PCs donated in August alone, helping Computer Aid to achieve its best ever month for PC donations. Donors can now establish links with the school or university where their PCs have been placed, along with the students who use the equipment with the charity’s asset tracking service.

Frank McLoughlin, Principal of City and Islington College, which donated 500 PCs this summer, added: “Our partnership with Computer Aid not only endorses City and Islington’s commitment to its sustainability programme, but also proves our engagement with a globally connected community. We are building bridges to other countries, some of which we receive many students from. This is a fantastic opportunity to work together, creating a real synergy between the College and organisations in Africa and elsewhere.”

The Kenyatta University in Nairobi is just one example of re-use in the education sector. The university has received over 1,500 PCs from Computer Aid over the past year and is using the equipment to extend education to rural areas by delivering degree-level and professional courses via e-learning. This is helping to train the teachers of tomorrow by providing access to teacher training for those who can’t afford to attend a physical campus.

“By donating PCs to Computer Aid, the education sector is making a profound contribution to poverty reduction by helping children in developing countries learn valuable IT skills essential to their country’s development” Added Ffrench. “Old computers donated to Computer Aid will enjoy at least another three of four years on the desks of students in Africa and donors can rest assured that they are WEEE compliant, preventing their old computers from ending up in a land-fill.”

About Computer Aid International
Computer Aid International is a registered charity (no 1069256) and the world’s largest and most experienced not-for-profit supplier of professionally refurbished computers to developing countries.

Since it shipped the first PCs in 1997, Computer Aid has provided 100,000 PCs to organisations in more than 100 different developing countries and to schools in the UK. Based in London, Computer Aid International fully tests, professionally refurbishes, upgrades, packs and ships Pentium 3 and Pentium 4 computers donated by UK companies for re-use in schools and not-for-profit organisations overseas.

Computer Aid International is committed to providing the highest level decommissioning service to its UK computer donors and to delivering the highest quality refurbished computers to recipient organisations overseas. PC donors in the UK include British Airways, Ford, Virgin Travelstore, Honda Formula 1, the National Audit Office, Royal Mint, Packard Bell and Christian Aid. PC distribution in developing countries is achieved through strategic partnerships with partners such as SchoolNet Africa, British Council, UN-Habitat, and the national Computers for Schools programmes of Chile, Kenya, Zambia and other countries.

Media contact:
Kathryn Cotsworth
Wildfire PR, tel: 0208 339 4420