Camara volunteers loading the Haiti container at the Camara workshop.

Camara volunteers loading the Haiti container at the Camara workshop.

Camara Education this week shipped its first container of computers to Haiti. The computers are part of a project funded by the Digicel Foundation and will be used in eight centres run by We Advance, a women’s rights grassroots movement that focuses on capacity building on the island. Haiti becomes the tenth country in which the social enterprise works to bring digital literacy to disadvantaged communities through the provision of refurbished computers, educational software, and training. Camara volunteers have developed a version of the operating system, CamaraBuntu, in French specifically for Haiti.

To ensure the computers achieve their maximum potential in enriching Haitian women’s education, Camara’s Ailish O’Reilly will manage the project in Haiti for three months with the support of the Caribbean Service Centre Manager Craig Robertson. This project will potentially sow the seeds for development of a fully operational Camara hub in Haiti in the future.

“Haiti has had its fair share of misfortune in recent years,” said Robertson. “This project has the opportunity to benefit so many. It is anticipated that nearly 1,000 women will pass through these centres on a daily basis. Their thirst for knowledge and learning is incredible and they cannot wait for us to arrive on site, as they see digital literacy as the only way to move the country forward for the next generation.”

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with 80 percent of its ten million residents living below the poverty line. Since the 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000 people, Haitians have struggled to rebuild the already impoverished nation. Camara aims to empower these people through education to break the cycle of poverty many find themselves in.

Since its inception in 2005, Camara has delivered over 40,000 computers to disadvantaged schools in Africa, Jamaica and Ireland.

The computers heading off to Haiti  were donated by some of Ireland’s leading companies including KPMG, Diageo and ESB. With up to 500,000 computers discarded in Ireland every year, half of which are still in perfect working order, Camara urge other companies to partner with them and make reuse their priority too.