DIT and Camara Education in Race Against Computer Waste

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(left to right) Professor Tommy Cooke and Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT, with John Fitzsimons, Camara Education CEO, Eoin Dunne, DIT Information Services, and Ciarán O’Leary, Senior Lecturer in DIT School of Computing

12th September

250,000 computers are scrapped each year in Ireland.  Many of these could be reused by disadvantaged communities both here in Ireland and abroad.  DIT has been involved in this activity for the last fifteen years through its Community Links programme and CLiC - its Computer Learning in Communities initiative.  Now, as a way to minimise wastage of resources, DIT has appointed Camara Education to refurbish its old computers for reuse rather than send them to landfill.

Camara Education, a social enterprise and charity, specialises in the re-use of computers to educate children in disadvantaged schools in East Africa, Jamaica and Ireland.  Key to Camara Education’s mission is training teachers on using computers as an educational resource. Refurbished computers, loaded with educational software are distributed to disadvantaged schools and to date Camara has reused over 25,000 computers in this way.

Each reused computer has a positive educational impact for at least 19 disadvantaged children each year. It also defers the release of 650kg of CO2 emissions.  The President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton said “DIT is very pleased to support the work of Camara Education. We are delighted that DIT’s computers will be reused to help to improve the educational outcome for disadvantaged communities.” said DIT President, Professor Brian Norton.  “We hope that the partnership with Camara Education will encourage colleagues and students in DIT, and indeed our suppliers, to avail of the reuse option.  Already the School of Computing in DIT has become involved.  According to Senior Lecturer, Ciarán O’Leary, some of his students will have a chance to play their part.   “As part of their programme, students in our School have an opportunity to work with external organisations to gain experience in putting into practice what they learn in lectures and labs.  During the coming year some students will get to work with Camara and to make their own contribution to this very worthwhile project.”

John Fitzsimons, Camara Education CEO said; “Camara’s primary focus is on education and the computer re-use solution also provides added environmental benefits by extending the life of computers. We are delighted to work with DIT in re-using their equipment for the benefit of disadvantaged schools.”

Camara Education also provides a drop off facility at its new location in Chapelizod Industrial Estate for anyone with a computer that is no longer needed.  Together with a €20 social contribution per drop off this will make a real difference to the education of children who are unable to access the benefits of technology that many of us take for granted. 

http://green.camara.ie/green-you/  

The €20 contribution helps to meet the cost of €40 needed to refurbish and dispatch a reused computer overseas.

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