Irish charity Camara in campaign to get 1,000 computer mice for African schools

30 Jul 2012

Camara volunteers demonstrate their mouse-catching skills ahead of the 1,000 Mice appeal

Irish charity and social enterprise Camara, which refurbishes computers to help deliver digital literacy skills in disadvantaged schools, has launched a new campaign called ‘1,000 Mice’. The aim is to get businesses and members of the public to donate unwanted computer mice.

Camara relies on individuals and companies to donate old equipment. It is preparing to ship out two containers full of newly refurbished computers for schools in Ethiopia and Zambia, but needs computer mice.

Based out of Chapelizod in Dublin, Camara works to improve education in disadvantaged communities in Ireland, as well as in Africa and Jamaica. It has sent 33,000 computers to schools and other educational organisations in East Africa, Jamaica and Ireland. Camara says its approach has benefited more than 350,000 children as a result.

According to CEO John Fitzsimons, more than 1,000 schools and 750,000 students in Ethiopian, Kenyan and Zambian schools are waiting for computers.

He said the demand for Camara’s services is outstripping the available supply and the charity has found itself short of computer mice for the next two computer shipments.

Camara CEO John Fitzsimons with Camara volunteers ahead of the 1,000 Mice appeal

Camara CEO John Fitzsimons with Camara volunteers ahead of the 1,000 Mice appeal

“We have high quality refurbished computers ready to go but are short the computer mice to accompany them. We need Irish organisations and the Irish public to help us,” said Fitzsimons.

As well as mice, the charity is also seeking old computers, laptops, monitors or peripherals such as keyboards or power leads.

When it gets in equipment, Camara Education wipes all data on all machines. Drop off locations are in Dublin, Belfast and Galway. There’s also a nationwide collection service available for larger volumes.

Plus, Camara also has a new refurbishment centre in San Jose, California.

If anyone has any computer mice that they are not using and wish to donate to Camara, they can do so between now and 10 August.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic