Over €100,000 invested in Camara to deliver innovative solutions to two global problems

Left to right, Sean Coughlan, CEO, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland,Cormac Lynch, CEO, Camara, John Kennedy, MD, Diageo, Minister Batt O'Keeffe

Guinness invested in Ireland’s future by backing people with “a business head and a social heart” and Camara was officially announced as one of the ten Arthur Guinness Fund awardees 2010 at a special awards ceremony, which was held in Guinness Storehouse.

Camara, which has hubs in Dublin and Belfast, uses a sustainable social enterprise model to provide an innovative solution to tackle two global problems in tandem: the increasing amounts of environmentally damaging waste being produced; and the lack of educational resources available in disadvantaged areas. Cormac Lynch’s Camara project takes computers from companies and individuals to be re-used in disadvantages areas, mainly in Africa. To date, Camara has re-used 15,500 Irish computers, and placed them in Learning Centres in approximately 750 schools. This equates to a Carbon saving of over 10,000 tons, with an associated monetary social saving of US$430,000 (US$43 per Ct). Camara is seeking to alter the Irish regulatory framework around re-use, changing mindsets and positioning re-use as a superior alternative to recycling.

Cormac Lynch of Camara commented: “Camara is all about trying to reuse technology to change the education system, empowering those in disadvantaged areas in Ireland and the world to solve the cycle of poverty that they find themselves in.

With funding from the Arthur Guinness Fund, we are going to expand this proven model to Cork and Galway. This will increase the capacity of our organisation, and within the first year will create an associated monetary social saving of approximately US $100,000.

In addition to the funding, we welcome the access to additional expertise through Diageo Ireland support and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network, helping us to deliver real and lasting social change.”

John Kennedy, Managing Director, Diageo Ireland said, “The Arthur Guinness Fund proactively seeks to identify Ireland’s leading social entrepreneurs and is designed as a springboard to enable them to take their initiatives to the next level. Today, we are backing people with a business head and a social heart. This is what we mean by social entrepreneurship.”