Monday, December 14, 2015

Douglas College computers find new home in Kenya

Photo Courtesy of St. Christopher's School 

Douglas College computers have found a new home at a Kenyan school, thanks to a recycling program run by the College’s Centre for Educational and Information Technology (CEIT).

Each year, the College replaces more than 400 personal computers as part of the CEIT Evergreen Project. Some of the machines end up at certified environmentally-responsible recycling plants and others find new homes through charitable organizations.

One beneficiary of the program is St. Christopher’s School in Nanyuki, 200 kilometres from the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The donated computers give students access to online resources they would otherwise not have, said St. Christopher’s School Principal Bernard Muthu.

“It’s a great relief and will change the lives of many kids,” Muthu said, noting the government of Kenya has required schools to integrate e-learning into their curriculum.

The placement of computers at St. Christopher's School was coordinated by Afretech Aid Society, a Delta-based registered charity that has been supporting developing countries for 20 years.

Afretech president Bonnie Sutherland and her husband Don are both former teachers, first travelling to Africa in the 1990s. After visiting a school and seeing textbooks that were 40 years out of date, they wanted to help. Today, Afretech is shipping a variety of educational equipment to several countries in Africa and Asia.

Afretech relies on an army of 50 volunteers and organizations like the Rotary Club to receive and ship donations.

"No one has ever been paid. There are no free trips," Bonnie says. “What we do changes lives.”

- Adapted from an article by Glauce Fleury, CEIT