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Does your computer process slowly? Are you in need of new software? These are two common reasons why people dispose of computers and laptops. Although they are still in working order, they are tossed away in garbage bins. Is there a sustainable solution? Camara Education thinks so.

Camara Education is dedicated to improving literacy and believes everyone deserves quality education. They collect technology such as computers, keyboards, tablets and smartphones and donate them to developing countries. They hope that by improving education, these communities will be able to lift themselves out of poverty.

Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 2005, Camara Education has been highly successful. Because of their efforts, around 1 million children have had access to technology in classrooms. In the last 10 years, they have shipped 62,000 computers to countries in need.

The organization has donated eLearning centers to over 2,000 schools in Ireland, Africa and the Caribbean. They have installed 40,000 computers, trained over 11,000 teachers to use technology in classrooms and are currently in operation in Jamaica and seven countries in Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Lesotho, Tanzania and Zambia. They also have headquarters in the U.S. and U.K.

Camara Education believes that technology can open up an entirely new world of information for students and teachers. For this reason, they believe it is essential that all children have access to computers and information and communications technology (ICT).

This year, they plan to provide approximately 3,500 computers to students in Kenya.

“There’s no way the schools could afford this on their own,” Chief Technology Officer of Camara Education for Africa Aseidas Blauvelt says. “They could buy from their informal market, but they’d have no guarantee anything would work, they wouldn’t have training from us and they wouldn’t have a server.”

The team members erase all data from donated computers, keeping all personal information safe. The hard drive is wiped using a U.S. Department of Defense program, which makes it impossible to retrieve any data.

Recently, Camara Education has partnered with the Ministry of Education in Zambia to integrate technology and ICT into schools. On July 16, Camara Education in Dublin sent 1,110 computers to Lusaka, Zambia. With this new shipment, the organization has sent over 11,000 computers to Zambia.

CEO of Camara Education in Zambia says, “There is a strong demand from educational institutions for Camara services. Camara Zambia has been working with the Ministry of Education here to expand our reach to schools. The government this year added Computer Studies to the curriculum for grade 8 and 9 students, so there is much more interest in ICT and education.”

Ultimately, the Ministry of Education and Camara Education hope that the technology will teach valuable tech, communication and learning skills, alleviate poverty in Zambia and promote a prosperous and educated society.

Instead of throwing out old computers, visit http://camara.org/give-computers/ to donate and find drop-off locations.

Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: Camara 1, Camara 2, Camara 3, LinkedIn
Photo: Camara