Camara calls on Carlow for computer donations

3 Jan 2013

With claims that half a million computers are discarded every year in Ireland, and that at least half of these devices are fit for reuse by students learning computer skills, Camara is appealing to businesses and individuals in Carlow to donate any old or unwanted computers and equipment.

Over the past seven years, Camara has provided 35,000 computers to schools in Africa, the Caribbean and Ireland through refurbishing old models donated to the cause. Friends of the charity have arranged a free drop-off at White’s Pharmacy on Tullow Street, Carlow, this Friday and Saturday (4 and 5 January), where people can bring old computers, laptops, monitors and peripherals.

Frank Neenan from Carlow has been involved with Camara since 2009 and is now its production manager, responsible for the delivery of up to 1,000 reusable computers a month to schools and community training groups.

“The idea is really simple,” Neenan explained. “We are throwing away something that is in perfect working order, or can be restored to working order, simply because it isn’t the most up-to-date model. Meanwhile, schools in Africa cannot afford to buy new equipment, and the children are coming out of school without the essential computer skills we take for granted. So why not collect the equipment here, rework it, and supply it on a not-for-profit basis?”

For those concerned about any data they may have stored on donated devices, Neenan provides assurances. “We wipe computers to a recognised international standard and when the process is finished, no one, not even the best CSI team in the world could find anything.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.