If you can’t quite bring yourself to take it to be recycled and head for landfill, then you might want to think about donating it to Camara Learning, a registered charity and social enterprise who have recently moved to the Parkhall Business Centre in West Dulwich. Through Camara, your old computer or laptop could live on to help 21 children in disadvantaged communities gain digital literacy skills. Secure data erasure is guaranteed, and they then go on to refurbish it with educational open source software that includes an offline version of Wikipedia, Open Office as well as educational games and resources to support maths, lteracy and ICT education.
“We’re unique in our social enterprise model,” says Anna Norman, General Manager. “We provide not only the hardware but also educational software, teacher training, technical support and responsible recycling at the end of useful life. By donating your old computers, laptops and monitors to Camara, you’ll divert them from landfill and enable them to be used for as long as they can be. Not only is this better for the environment, you’ll also be making a contribution to narrowing the digital divide.”
Camara was set up 10 years ago in Dublin by Cormac Lynch, a former investment banker, who recognised the single solution for IT waste and lack of global digital literacy. To date they have enabled 1,000,000 children to gain digital literacy skills, have trained 18,000 teachers and distributed 66,000 computers into schools in Ireland, Haiti, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
An important part of Camara’s work is the training and skilling up of local volunteers. “You don’t need to have a lot of technical experience to volunteer with Camara, although we have many volunteers that do. Volunteering at Camara can provide an opportunity to learn from others and gain new IT technical skills as well as be a fun and rewarding experience,” says Anna. “We are always looking for new volunteers to join us - get in touch & find out how you can get involved”.
With already 1,000,000 children benefitting from the work Camara Learning do, their next goal is to reach a further million by the end of 2017. Still wondering what to do with your old computer? Donate it to Camara! You can read more about the work that they do at www.camara.org.
Camara Learning Unit F03 Parkhall Business Centre 40 Martell Road SE21 8EN (tel: 0208 6708225)