effort for Uruguayan
By Tiffany Allison
Special to the Watauga Democrat
Computers for Schools International is collecting computers for Uruguay and they need your old computer equipment.
The program originated in 2001 by the First Lady of Uruguay Mercedez Menafra de Battle to further the technological education of the people of Uruguay. Olga Jensen, native to Uruguay, decided to take part by starting the Computer for Schools International for the High Country.
“To me it’s a win-win situation,” Jensen said. “Everybody wins. You help other people while getting ready of things you don’t need.”
They currently are accepting computers and laptops with an operating system of Windows 98 or higher, scanners, fax machines, keyboards, and mice to send to the elementary schools throughout Uruguay.
Printers are not accepted due to the fact that the ink dries during the shipping process rendering the printers useless.
“The order is almost half complete. I need to get about 100 more computers for a full shipment,” Jensen said.
Samaritan’s Purse and the Boone, Blowing Rock, and Sunshine Rotary Clubs have partnered with Jensen to help with pickup and delivery of the equipment.
The Rotary clubs provide volunteers to help move the computers to a warehouse where the computers are stored until the shipping date while Samaritan’s Purse is responsible for the wrapping and shipping of the computers.
“I could never complete this progress with out their help,” Jensen said.
The computers are shipped free of charge through the Charleston Air Force as part of the Denton Act for Humanitarian Assistance to the American Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay which is responsible for the distribution.
The computers are sent to rural schools and neighborhood centers. Their focus is simple technological education.
Classes are offered on job training to the community with a focus in industrial movement and the importance of understanding technology. Computers have been installed in old school buses to serve as a traveling training center to reach rural communities that cannot reach the neighborhood office.
“They are in desperate need of buses and they are trying to get us (Computer for Schools International) to donate,” Jensen said. “It would be a community effort.”
She said there are retired school buses currently being auctioned through the NC Department of Education for a cheap price and donations are welcome for the cause. The shipping arrangements for the buses are still in progress.
This organization not only assists donors with the ability to dispose of unwanted electronics, but also provides children with material to further their education.
For more information about donations to Computers for Schools International please contact Olga Jensen at (828) 759-0453.