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A Charity Organization that Collects Used Computers and Gives Developing Country's Citizens for Free

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Jan 20, 2022
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A charity organization that collects used electronics, then gives them to individuals in developing countries.
Why?
The computer is one of the greatest inventions of all time with the ability to change and improve lives. However, like everything, the level of access differs from place to place. In 2019, only 7.7% of African homes had a computer, according to a Statista report. Compare this to the 78% of American households with a desktop or laptop computer, and the 88% of UK households.
If the rate of computer usage in developing countries can be increased, the quality of life in these countries will also be increased. What's more? Providing free computers in developing countries can reduce poverty rate as many, especially youths, in these countries will learn digital skills and offer their services to others all over the world.
How Does it Work?
The organization can have collection points in the cities with the highest computer usage. If somebody wants to buy a new PC, yet has a PC in good working condition, they can take it to this collection point.
Alternatively, the organization can partner with logistics companies like DHL. These logistics companies can collect the used PCs for the organization either for free or stipends and deliver them to a central location, where they can be tested, refurbished (when required), and redistributed to selected countries.
To fund the operation, the organization can take money donations. Also, they can apply for grants from PC manufacturers whose Corporate Social Responsibility includes the reduction of e-waste.
With these funds, they can pay for testing, refurbishing, logistics, and staff, and cater for other financial requirements.
Final Thoughts
When I came up with this idea, I scoured the internet to find if something similar exists. What I found are charities that collect and donate used electronics within developed countries. While this is a laudable idea, I believe developing countries require such interventions more. Hence, the idea.
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Creative contributions

An app, or an online platform, maybe?

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jan 21, 2022
I know it might not make sense to do this via an online platform since people in developing countries rarely have access to the internet. But having in mind that you are aiming for donations directly to individuals or families, this might simplify things. I imagine it's possible to get access to the internet for people in developing countries if they really want to (in libraries, schools, through someone's smartphone, etc.) and when there's a possibility to get a computer for free, this is worth the effort.
Those seeking to get computers in developing countries would register on the platform, preferably write (or record a voice) a bit about themselves and their lives and people in the developed world willing to donate their electronics would browse through the list of candidates willing to receive computers, they could choose the country, region, etc. The countries/regions most in need of computers at the moment would be marked on the map. People could then dedicate their computers to a specific individual or family of their own choosing.
The only part to solve would then be the logistics. Once enough donations to a specific region/village were registered on the platform, the computers would be collected from those donating and transported to the destination in a developing country. The logistics could be funded by the government(s), the UN, etc.
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General comments

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Danny Weir
Danny Weir4 months ago
As Aashi said, there are several charitable organisations that do exactly what you have proposed. I would argue that an even better system may be to contact computer companies (Dell, Asus, Samsung, Acer etc) and try to create a program with them directly. Most tech companies these days have a recycling program and offer trade-ins for older machines. By getting these companies on board with the project you could potentially create a more reliable stream of computers to the designated countries. This creates a smoother system for your program and also creates positive PR for the tech companies involved, a win-win situation. You'd hope that this would also have the knock-on effect of peer pressuring other tech companies into getting on board too! Where would the computers ideally go once they have been shipped? Could it also be possible that internet cafes and computer centres could be the final destination?
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi4 months ago
Danny Weir I responded to Aashi's contribution. Your idea about creating a program alongside PC manufacturers is insightful and, I believe, feasible. Thanks!
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Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal4 months ago
Hi Oguntola. This idea is indeed a good one! I believe there are certain organizations that work towards making technology available to the masses in developing nations. You might like to check out programs run by World Computer Exchange (WCE) and non profit organizations like Computer Aid International that share the goal of reducing global poverty and increasing productivity of developing countries. WCE also seems to have an African chapter for supporting distance learning. Hope these are of some help to you.
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi4 months ago
Hi Aashi Agarwal WCE and Computer Aid International donate to schools, libraries, tertiary institutions, NGOs, and similar organizations. So far, I haven't found a single organization that places these PCs in the hands of families or individuals. That is my focus. From personal experience, such a project, especially on a wide scale can change livesAashi Agarwal the WCE and Computer Aid International donate to schools, libraries, tertiary institutions, NGOs, and similar organizations. So far, I haven't found a single organization that places these PCs in the hands of families or individuals. That is my focus. From personal experience, such a project, especially on a wide scale can change lives.

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Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal4 months ago
Oguntola Tobi That could be due to limited availability of computers that are donated. May be with a program like you suggested more people could be motivated to donate. There could be options of donating to a particular individual or family of your choosing.
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