Donating your old electronics: Why?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 2.37 million tons of electronic ended up as waste in landfills in 2009, and, unfortunately, many of the electronic gadgets filling the landfills are still usable.

Many among us store our old devices somewhere, which end up sitting in a closet or storage space every time you upgrade to a new computer, mobile or TV. However, instead of letting the old electronics sit and collect dust or throw them in the trash, consider giving them away.

You will see your obsolete items go to a good cause and be re-purposed.

In most countries, if you donate unwanted electronic components, you will receive a tax deduction for charitable contributions. You will need to detail this in your tax reports, but you can deduct the fair market value of any electronic device you provide to charity. The same goes for furniture, clothing, or book donations.

Donating your old electronics to charity will free up storage space in your home and at the same time, help a worthy cause. However, make sure you receive a donation receipt from the charity to which you choose to donate. You will need to keep your tax record receipt when you make a deduction. It is also advisable to have them on hand in the event of a tax audit.

Furthermore, the treatment of computers as electronic waste is a complex, expensive process which, if not done in safety, can also be extraordinarily polluting and dangerous. Throwing away your old device has an enormous environmental impact. The components of electronic devices contain many toxic substances, and if thrown into landfills or not appropriately treated, they can cause irreparable damage to the environment and our health.

Turing Trust: What is it?

The Turing Trust is a UK based organization that supports education in Sub-Saharan Africa by collecting or providing computers for schools and other recreational spaces. They also offer ICT training to teachers and educators.

The organization is located in the United Kingdom, and its goal is to reduce waste and consequently help the environment and help undeveloped Countries with the use of educational tools and technology.

Donating an old computer means respecting the environment by reducing the environmental impact related to the disposal of electronic components. It also means helping multiple realities that require essential IT equipment such as schools, voluntary associations, social, public, and private organizations.

Until today, this organization has recycled over 4.000 computers, allowing more than 40.000 students to be introduced to the basics of IT. Since 2009, they provide ICT resources to ICCES (Integrated Community Centres for Employable Skills) and selected Primary and Junior High Schools in Gana. Additionally, since 2015, they have expanded their work to Malawi, in collaboration with the Centre for Youth and Development in Mzuzu, intending to provide technological tools to the Northern Region of the Country. Since 2018, they have also been working with SolarBerry.

How to Donate Money

You can give money in several different ways, and there’s plenty of organizations in the world that do similar work for this and other disadvantaged areas in the world.

Our UK readers that want to donate and help the Turing Trust have many ways to give, even if they don’t want or can’t donate electronics. You can become a corporate partner or a sponsor by helping this organization achieve its goal of making access to IT possible for people in sub-Saharan Africa. You can also become the sponsor of a project. Check the current projects on their website, or get in contact with them if you want to propose something else you would like to do. If instead you want to make a classic donation you can make a regular offer or a single one, through the website.

You can use Virgin MoneyGiving online: it is a fast and straightforward way to cover their commission on the donations you’ll make to the Turing Trust. If you are a UK taxpayer, then you can gift aid your donation, and it will increase by 25% in value.

Thanks to donors, Turing Trust can do its fantastic work in schools in sub-Saharan Africa, equipping them with IT and educational resources. On the website, you’ll also have the chance to sign up for their newsletter to hear every news about their projects.

What can you give?

Any donations of computers and laptops which can run Windows 7, or Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, or above is more than welcome. Following, you’ll see more details on the IT equipment that they accept. However, if you should have any doubts at all, you can contact Turing Trust and find out if your old stuff can be donated.

Computers

  • Desktop PCs
  • Laptops with their chargers
  • Tablets / iPads with their chargers
  • Smartphones with their chargers
  • Power banks that charge laptops (e.g., Dell and Lenovo)

Accessories

  • Monitors and Cables (VGA / HDMI)
  • Keyboards & Mice
  • Headphones
  • Projectors
  • Digital Cameras
  • Power Cables
  • Surge Protectors / Extension Leads
  • Laptop Locks

Computer Parts and Spares

  • Hard Drives
  • RAM
  • Micro USB Chargers & Cables

Keep in mind that Turing Trust will not and cannot accept broken or damaged equipment of any kind, printers, switches, servers, or any item that is more than six years old, as well as donations of less than 5 PCs or equivalently small volumes of ICTs.

On their website, you’ll find a list of their IT donors, in which your organization or company would be featured after your donation.

The drop-off of your donation will be settled together with Turing Trust, using the form available on their website. It is usually arranged Monday to Saturday, from 10.30 am to 04:30 pm, at their premises in Newbridge. Once completed the form and given the details about your donation, Turing Trust will arrange the best way to transport the contribution to their Edinburgh hub.

Turing Trust’s Missions

Ghana

Turing Trust was founded in 2009 to donate to Ghana enough materials so that the ICCES could have their own IT laboratories. Since then, their job evolved, and they made tons of progress: starting from a few computers sent to Ghana to IT labs for over 76 schools and seminars for teachers.

Their mission in Ghana started because the founder of Turing Trust, James Turing, went to Ghana to work at a rural school called Afoako ICCES. These ICCES are Integrated Community Centers for Employable Skills: professional colleges to teach practical abilities to young students (13 to 24 years old) and are part of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations

Their first partnership in the country is with Edmund Pinto (Eddie), who manages the Kumasi hub together with the technical support of Sam Edanake. Considering his role as IT manager of ICCES, he is a more than appropriate contact to have in the country and is perfectly able to guide the operations of the organization. He is in regular contact with all ICEES and genuinely cares about the education of disadvantaged children and adolescents. There’s ICEES in each region of the country, mostly in rural areas, and many of them also contain an IT lab. Those that still don’t have one are working on finding the right office or adequate energy.

Solar Berry

Turing Trust also incorporates a self-financed computer lab, owned by the community and operated by solar energy, which supplies educational resources through low energy raspberry computers. That’s a SolarBerry. The first one has been built in Malawi, by Turing Trust and the Center for Youth and Development. It has been given to the local community of Choma in 2018, and destined to local schools, which will, therefore, use it within their teaching, and to the community, to make it possible for them to access IT resources. The excess energy will be used to charge electric devices, such as phones or lamps.

More than 590 million people live in sub-Saharan Africa and don’t have access to electricity. 97% of the people who live in the rural area of Malawi don’t have access to power. 87% of the school don’t have access to electricity, and 95% of the primary schools don’t have access to computers. It is, however, essential for education to be paired with IT competencies, as is the correlation between electrification and the completion of primary school.

The school chosen for the trial of the Solarberry in Malawi is Choma Community Day, a primary school in a rural area around 20 km north of Mzuzu. This project will support the learning process of 250 students and 1000 adult students.

The team who was in charge of the design of the SolarBerry’s Turing Trust included four retired professionals who are members of the Rotary Club Currie Balerno. Furthermore, the details of the plan were checked and confirmed by Buro Happold Engineering, including SolarBerry PV, Thermal and Structural Feasibility Study, and a 3D model.

The Solarberry in Choma was firstly used as a container in Edinburgh, moving computers and accessories in Malawi. After the initial work done in Mzuzu, SolarBerry was moved to Choma in April 2018, where it was very well received.

Malawi

Turing Trust has been working with the center for youth and development in Mzuzu since 2015, to allow students from the North of Malawi to get a shot at an IT-focused education.

Malawi is a densely populated Country of South Africa. It is mostly rural, and only a small portion of the population lives in actual cities. Especially in the most disadvantaged areas, access to IT is very complicated. To remedy this and other unfortunate realities of the area, the government committed to improving the country: they want the whole country to have access to technology by 2020.

Turing Trust works in the northern part of the country, and their headquarters are in Mzuzu, where is also located Center for Youth and Development, their partner organization. The only reason why they decided to start working specifically in the North of the country is that they thought they could make the most impact there. However, they still want to expand to cover the other areas of the country, hopefully allowing IT education in 80% of the schools of the country. Their end goal is to make IT education accessible for every student in the country.

Every school Turing Trust supports, gets twenty computers together with an eLibrary contract for maintenance. Therefore, the teachers can be educated on IT knowledge, and both teachers and students can be supported through their education. The schools keep being updated and followed throughout time.

Impact

Turing Trust has supported hundreds of schools in Ghana, Liberia, and Malawi, with over 4250 computers for their classrooms. By doing this, they have ensured that more than 41.000 students could become IT literates all over Africa. Furthermore, they have trained more than 530 teachers on essential computer maintenance and how to use computers. The IT program of Turing Trust has saved 2500 tons of carbon, thanks to its environmental benefits. The waste avoided, and the reused products equal 69 tons, and 2600 tons of carbon savings.

Conclusions

Giving means renouncing to something to give it to someone else. It is a gesture of love that does not ask for anything in return except to see the smile and hope blossom in the life of those who receive it.

Giving is a delicate art, but we are all capable of it. You can donate precisely because it is the action of love that nurtures equality and expresses the essence that makes us human.

Making a gift should not be a burden. It is a gesture that must come from the heart. When you give something, you are offering it without asking for anything in return.

Being able to help someone else, making that person feel special at last when she is in a condition of need, is in itself a sufficient push to offer more. By donating, you are communicating with those who need your help; you make them feel lucky and grateful, no matter what you give.

It feels good for those who receive your help to know they can count on someone like you. But it’s also nice for those on the other side: giving is gratifying. It is a feeling of personal fulfillment that lasts over time and cannot be measured economically. It has been shown that the act of giving makes us happier than receiving. No matter how precious the gift is.

The priorities of Turing Trust are children and students. Turing Trust engages all the resources it puts together in projects dedicated to protecting children’s and students’ right to IT education, wherever there’s a need in Sub-Saharian Africa.

What Turing Trust donating is doing: every day, they transform donations into practical help for the communities within which they work. They want to help the growth of these communities by ensuring access to electricity and technology, especially within schools, for children and teachers alike.

Turing Trust is fighting to promote the right to an IT-based education of children. They firmly believe that a better future will only be possible through the education of the men and women of tomorrow.

The children who attend school are children saved from complicated lives, made up of precariousness and hard jobs. They are children who become aware of their rights, who can then fight to defend themselves because they will have the knowledge that makes it possible. And the correlation between successful schooling and the use of IT for this education is exceptionally favorable.

Bringing literacy, opening schools, and providing education are the foundations of a healthy civilization. Without education, there can be no development. To encourage growth in disadvantaged areas of the world like Sub-Saharian Africa, Turing Trust helps children grow aware, giving them the material and intellectual tools to face and improve their reality.

Donating is a gesture that does not require reciprocity. It feeds the buds of hope and joy in those who receive. You have so many ways to help, even small gestures. If you donate, you’ll see for yourself its positive effects. Even if you are unable to do so and still somehow want to help Turing Trust’s mission, share this article on your page or on your social media profile to raise awareness and get all the help possible from other people around the Country. Let’s get this fundamental organization the fame it deserves and use all our resources in doing it!

For any questions, contact the Turing Trust or us. They will be happy to meet you, collaborate, and update you on their humanitarian initiatives. They do so much, but with your help, they’ll do so much more.

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