Computer Aid International held an event this week to celebrate an impressive milestone – 200,000 PCs being supplied to developing countries to reduce poverty.
The UK registered charity data-wipes, tests and professionally refurbishes donated ICT devices from UK companies so they can be put to good use in non-profit programs in developing countries.
I found their event to be a real eye-opener into how redundant UK hardware is being used creatively to help some of the poorest people on the planet.
- Gladys Muhunyo who gave a vibrant and passionate presentation into how ICT projects are making a difference on the ground in Kenya.
- The UK Met Office on how they are working with farmers to gather meteorological data to help them make better farming decisions.
- The supermarket chain Sainsbury’s on how donating over 10,000 devices to Computer Aid supported their hardware refresh project whilst also meeting their long term sustainability and environmental goals.
- Macha works on how ZubaBoxes are connecting remote villages to cities in order to increase their wealth.
(Left to right: Neil Morgan from Sainsbury’s, Tom Butcher from the Met Office, Dick Uyttewaal of Macha Works, Gladys Muhunyo of Computer Aid in Kenya and David Grimshaw of the Royal Holloway, University of London).
The Remotest of Remote IT Assets?
The ZubaBox particularly intrigued me. Surely this must be the remotest of remote IT assets to manage? Located in a remote village in sub-Saharan Africa, the ZubaBox is a self contained Internet café running on self-generating solar power, built from a second hand sea container and retired PC’s.
The result is a small remote village connected to the wider world – and with connection brings better crop yields, better healthcare and a self-sufficient economy.
ZubaBox Video Case Study (BBC Click):
Hardware Refresh on The Horizon? Windows 7 Roll Out?
Computer Aid are looking to process another 50,000 PCs in the next year – So if a hardware refresh is on the horizon and you want to do something really valuable for developing countries whilst also meeting your regulatory requirements – please give these guys a shout. A list of similar organizations outside the UK can be found under the ‘International Options’ section within this article.
About Martin Thompson
Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.
He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.
Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).
When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.
Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.