Aseidas Blauvelt, Camara chief technology officer for Africa scanning E-waste equipment

Aseidas Blauvelt, Camara chief technology officer for Africa scanning E-waste equipment

A computer’s lifespan is shorter than ever. Want better software? You’ll need a better machine. This is why some computers and laptops are disposed of way before their due date despite still being in working order. There is a sustainable solution, by giving your used computer to Camara, you can help children in disadvantaged communities in East Africa and the Caribbean, where this technology can be used in the classroom to provide the crucial 21st century skill of digital literacy to those who need it most.

Technology can open up a whole new world of information that previously would not have been available to these children in their education. It is important for the next generation of students in these communities to have a fluency in technology and ICT systems.

Camara has shipped 62,000 computers since its inception 10 years ago. That is equivalent to the deferral of the release of 18,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions for the computers and a further 15,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions (based on 52,000 monitors) – so 34,200 tonnes in total.

Camara Education, a charity that supplies computers and other equipment to schools across Africa, will provide approximately 3,500 machines to students in Kenya this year. (Camara also provides computers to students in several other African countries, as well as Ireland.) “There’s no way the schools could afford this on their own,” says Aseidas Blauvelt, the group’s chief technology officer for Africa. “They could buy from the informal market, but they’d have no guarantee anything would work, they wouldn’t have training from us, and they wouldn’t have a server.”

Camara has an in-house tracking system for every machine it handles, from receiving to deployment to return, and it seeks out recyclers around the world that

Camara E-waste container

Camara Shipping container

can accept its material. According to Blauvelt, the group has shipped electronics for recycling to South Africa as well as to Europe.

Camara keeps your personal information safe, we offer Secure Data Erasure and Certification. Each hard drive is erased using a US Department of Defence compliant program that operates on a firmware level, making it impossible to retrieve any data.

Most computer equipment in Ireland is recycled rather than reused. Around 500,000 computers are recycled every year by organisations, over half of which could be reused. If every organisation in Ireland had their equipment reused rather than recycled, this would deliver an improved education for millions of children in disadvantaged communities around the world.

As technology evolves, we evolve with it. The job market has developed and the rapid rate of technology change means ICT skills are a necessity more than ever. But there are those living in disadvantaged communities where such resources are not so easily accessible and as a result are falling behind in requiring basic digital literacy skills. It is imperative that developing countries have the opportunity to transform their economies through the use of technology in their classrooms and Camara remains dedicated to providing these communities with access to quality education.