Tuesday 17 September 2019

Computer recycler, charity tech up Ethiopian schools

Opening up ‘a world of opportunity’: Girls study at Jerusalem Primary School in Addis, Ethiopia
Opening up ‘a world of opportunity’: Girls study at Jerusalem Primary School in Addis, Ethiopia

Shawn Pogatchnik

Computer recycling company AMI will help the Camara Education charity to supply 100 girls' schools in Ethiopia with 2,500 used computers donated by some of Ireland's top companies.

Rathcoole-based AMI - short for Asset Management Ireland - specialises in refurbishing, reselling and recycling IT equipment being discarded by Government agencies and top ICT companies.

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Camara, an Irish charity that provides computers and digital literacy training in several African countries, is providing computers donated by ESB, Dell and Symantec to AMI for the project.

"While these computers may no longer be fit for purpose for today's digitally transforming enterprises, they can quite literally be a lifeline for disadvantaged schoolchildren," said AMI chief executive Philip McMichael.

"Camara Education does admirable work in Ireland and Africa. Through our partnership, we are ensuring they can continue to provide recycled computers to disadvantaged schoolchildren in accordance with GDPR regulations.

"Any hardware donated to Camara is collected by security-vetted, trained and uniformed AMI collection crews and transported in unmarked, GPS-tracked vehicles," Mr McMichael said. "All data-bearing equipment is cleansed to the most stringent global standards before refurbishment or resale."

Cormac Lynch, a former engineer and investment banker who founded Camara in 2005 after visiting Ethiopia, said this project "is about empowering young women in Ethiopia to change their future".

"By the time they reach the age of 18, many women in Ethiopia will have dropped out of school and are already married. Literacy is extremely low, which can place enormous restrictions on a woman's ability to take control of her life," Mr Lynch said. "Access to computers can open up a world of opportunity and enable a woman to go to university, learn new skills and leave in her legacy a brighter future for the next generation of girls."

Camara says it will establish e-learning centres within each school staffed by six Camara-trained teachers.

Irish Independent

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