Education Is A Right, Not A Privilege

05/04/2013

DIGITAL PIPELINE AND COMPUTERS 4 AFRICA -

 education is a right, not a privilege

Digital Pipeline offers an innovative approach to the effective reuse of technology.  Currently, less than one of every 250 used computers is donated for charitable use.' Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft.

The impact of a successful merger in 2011 between Digital Pipeline and the award - winning Computers 4 Africa, stretches across Africa from Somalia in the east to Gambia in the west where the lives of an estimated one million children have been transformed.

In the last nine years, a steady supply of fully operational desktops & laptops, equipped with Microsoft software and educational initiatives designed to lift the under -privileged out of poverty, have made their way to African schools from Computers 4 Africa’s Kent – based facility. The charity has steadfastly built up its own reputation by supplying thousands of computers to schools, libraries and other places of learning throughout 18 African countries.

For people in areas served by Digital Pipeline, access to digital technology helps improve education and communication by making it easier for under-served communities to take advantage of the economic and educational opportunities provided by the digital revolution.

The results speak for themselves. Peter Kanini is one of five children raised in the Kabati slums in Naivasha, Kenya. For many years he worked as a child with his single mother Teresia, mining ballast in a quarry to try and provide funds for his education. After receiving a scholarship from Computers 4 Africa in 2011 however, he trained at Naivasha Polytechnic and passed his exams, resulting in employment at Braden Junior School as an IT teacher. Through the use of technology provided by Digital Pipeline, Kanini can now look after his family financially and his mother no longer needs to work in the quarry.

Similarly, Julia Mumbi has started a computer course at Naivasha Polytechnic, which will equip her with IT skills and transform her role in society by enabling her to make choices she wouldn’t otherwise have. She follows in the footsteps of a Tanzanian Masai family, which was persuaded not to exchange their 14-year-old daughter in marriage for 40 cows, but to allow her to learn IT skills and develop her life fully.

An IT educated student can earn several times the local average wage.

More than 61 schools from Aberdeen to London have also been involved in mass donations designed to give a second life to UK desktops & laptops often discarded without a second thought. In excess of four million computers are thrown away each year in the UK.

Luminaries who have already shared the vision of opening up the African continent to learning as never before include ICAP, Barclays Bank, Nomura International, Travis Perkins, Lloyds Pharmacy, the Economist Group, the House of Lords and Balfour Beatty.

Travis Perkins plc has been an ongoing partner donating IT for the last four years. “When we replaced a large number of Travis Perkins Group PCs, we decided to adopt an eco friendly method of disposal, " adds Martin Meech, Group Property Director.

"Computers 4 Africa was able to help us meet our target in reducing waste to landfill and at the same time put our PCs to very good use in Tanzania. We are delighted that we have been able to enhance the lives of so many children in such a positive way.”

SME’s have also been quick to realise the potential of educating Africa’s young, who think nothing of walking miles to learn from refurbished equipment within their schools.  Lifelites Hospices renews its IT packages every four years. 

“We get through a lot of hardware; our package has changed considerably over the last few years to keep up with developments in assistive technology,” says CEO Simone Enefer-Day. “Even as our packages become more tailored to the needs of disabled children, it’s great to know our older kit is still of value; we are delighted Computers 4 Africa is able to make this happen.”

David West, chief operating officer of Computers 4 Africa, concludes: ‘Africa has the lowest rate of PC ownership per capita in the world - South Africa has 8.5 computers per 100 people and the United Kingdom has 80. What seems small in the UK makes a big difference on the ground in Africa. You can change a child’s life when you change your PC. Technology should be a right and not a privilege.” 

 

By Tanya Reed

Publicist

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