Computer Aid International, an NGO with headquarters in London, and which has provided over 260 000 computers in over 100 countries, has established a local presence.
Computer Aid South Africa has been registered as a local not-for-profit organisation, expanding Computer Aid International’s reach in southern Africa.
Computer Aid gives ICT equipment a second life, refurbishing donated computers, tablets and mobile phones, working with partners to place them in areas where there is little or no access to technology. Partnering with other in-country NGOs and donor organisations, Computer Aid provides access to low-cost computers and software to disadvantaged areas, schools and hospitals, as well as training teachers in ICT skills to improve their confidence when teaching.
“Computer Aid is helping to bridge the digital divide, one computer at a time, and we are proud to be expanding the work already done in South Africa. Less than a third of low-income South Africans have access to the internet, according to research by World Wide Worx, and this figure is even worse for the actual hardware required to connect to the internet.
In light of the need to prepare the country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, not to mention improving the employment rate, this situation is not only unsustainable, but one of the main hindrances to growth,” says Premie Naicker, Executive Director, Computer Aid South Africa.
“South Africa has its own unique challenges and needs, and establishing a local entity will help us better serve our communities. It will also expand our donor base, which currently consists mainly of international organisations. We are looking forward to growing Computer Aid’s footprint – and impact – in South Africa.”
To date, Computer Aid International has provided 10 942 computers to South Africa. In addition to projects which focus on providing computers to areas where they will have the biggest impact, the organisation also run Solar Learning Lab projects in areas where infrastructure is an issue. Solar Learning Labs are shipping containers converted into solar-powered internet classrooms. They can accommodate up to 25 people at a time, and are built in Cape Town.
“The Solar Learning Labs have changed the lives of communities all over the world. The projects in South America and Africa over the past few years have not only allowed people to access technology that was traditionally out of their reach, but have created entrepreneurial and social opportunities and improvements.
For example, in some areas, the Solar Learning Labs are one of the only places to charge phones or portable lights, so communities have made them pivotal in their day-to-day lives,” Naicker explains.
Computer Aid International has already engaged a number of local organisations as partners, including Dell Technologies and is now launching a crowdsourcing strategy actively working on growing relationships with donor organisations, building on existing connections with multi-nationals while developing new relationships with South African corporates with the aim of impacting more schools and communities in the country.
“We are extremely pleased with the registration of Computer Aid International as a local NGO, and believe it will serve to not only continue the work we have been doing in South Africa, but will allow us to grow our reach. We are looking forward to even more great work on behalf of the local team,” says Keith Sonnet, CEO of Computer Aid International.
If you would like more information about the Solar learning Labs or donate to this cause please visit www.solarlearninglabs.org
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