Donate your tech to help bridge the digital divide
by Rasheeda Russell on Jun 07, 2022
Working from home has been the reality for most of us in 2020. But imagine not having access to a laptop or home broadband? In England, an estimated of 1 million children and young people and their families do not have adequate access to tech at home. This gap in technology ownership is called digital exclusion.
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) at the University of Cambridge has highlighted the stark impact that this can have on the outcomes of those who do not have access to tech.
They interviewed 5 primary headteachers in Manchester during the 1st lockdown.
“The majority of children in school aren’t accessing any of the online learning that we’ve set them. I know that some of them don’t have reliable internet. Most of them who have anything have phones or tablets. They’re often shared with siblings, so their access to something appropriate to work on is quite limited.”
The Lady Fatemah Trust (LFT) recognised this problem very early on in the pandemic and set up its “GiveIT” program. The initial aim was to collect used laptops, repair and supply to children that did not have access to laptops. However, the demand from schools was overwhelming and thankfully this was matched by the generosity of their donors. So far, LFT has raised £45,000.
At the end of October, the UK government announced that many schools would only be receiving 20% of the laptops they had been promised. LFT have also recently stepped in when the government could not, providing schools with laptops.
Klyk was honoured to be appointed LFT’s Tech Partner, to help source well-priced refurbished laptops and Chromebooks in order to help LFT’s grants to stretch as far as they can.
Klyk has helped to supply 272 refurbished laptops and Chromebooks to schools, such as Oakbank School, Theale Green School, Oxford Spires Academy, Woolmore Primary School among many others.
"LFT's GiveIT program is focussed on improving the life chances of school children between 7-17 years of age. However, there is a forgotten generation of 16-24 yr olds who are equally deserving of a helping hand. City Gateway's program of work with IBM, improving literacy and numeracy, appealed to us. LFT therefore stepped in to help 550 such individuals by providing laptops to aid their learning and work experience."
Aaseem Mulji, LFT's co-ordinator of the GiveIT programme
The work is not done yet. We are appealing to businesses to come forward and donate any laptops that are coming to the end of their lives. These laptops will be securely wiped and then donated to the GiveIT program. Not only would this provide much needed IT for school children, this would also help to reduce e-waste, ensuring devices do not end up in landfill.
Alternatively, businesses can donate directly to the GiveIT programme.