Wiltshire Publications

Call for old computers to help Filipino children

YOUR old computer could help poor children in the Philippines receive a better education, and widen their learning and job opportunities. 

Project 300, a project based in Westbury and led by James Lewis and his Filipino wife, Cherry, is asking people to donate their old computers, which will be recycled and sent to schools in the Philippines.

James started the project in August after visiting schools in the Philippines and seeing for himself just how little the children had to learn with. After encouraging friends and colleagues to donate, he already has 100 computers ready to send out to the Philippines. As people receive new equipment for Christmas, he hopes they will donate their old computers rather than sending them to the skip.

James explained, “I was invited to visit some of the schools and realised how bad things were – when the teachers said they had nothing, they meant nothing. They have 500-600 kids and three or four computers.”

In an age where computers are part of everyday life, James says that computer literacy is a key skill for children if they are to keep up with their peers at college and get a good job in the future. “You can teach a child to write with a pencil, but at the next level of schooling they’re up against someone who’s been to a paid school and is computer literate. All good jobs require you to have some form of computer literacy. If they don’t have that skill, they are tied to the lowest paid jobs forever, just because they’ve never been given the opportunity. If one child gets a career, they can then provide for the rest of their family.”

James is shouldering the costs of the project – including the cost of shipping the computers to the Philippines – and is relying on the goodwill of volunteers to get the donated computers up to scratch and package them ready for transportation. He is welcoming old computers and computer equipment, and will be sending a container to the Philippines at the end of January.

James said, “You go into schools here and there are rows and rows of computers and we take it for granted. We’re throwing away huge amounts of stuff in this country, there are skips full of computers. We are recycling – even the cardboard boxes we’re using are recycled. If someone gets a new computer for Christmas and is thinking what can I do with the old one, I will come with a smile on my face to collect it.”

You can find out more about the project at www.project300team.yolasite.com, or contact James directly on 07946 619934 or james.lewis3@bathspa.org