It’s getting toward the end of the year and no doubt you’re wrapping up a little more as the temperature cools off.
Think for a second how it is for people in Ukraine. The temperature in a Ukrainian winter often drops several degrees below zero. And, then, of course, there’s the war.
Russia’s illegal occupation of the country is continuing, with grim consequences and harsh conditions for soldiers. Battling through snow, ice and mud is compounded by the daily launch of around 400 missle strikes from Russia.
You might also be thinking that life is getting better overall, with areas once held by Russia, like Kherson, now liberated. While that is true on the surface, the reality is that such areas have bombed-out infrastructure, making a mass citizen return practically impossible.
All of this is, of course, making life very difficult for those who really need the most stability — schoolchildren.
I am collecting laptops, tablets and other such portable devices for children unable to attend school in Ukraine, owing to evacuations and destroyed schools and infrastructure. My mission is to help Ukrainian children to continue their education online through donated equipment.
This programme has been set up in association with Freundschaft kennt keine Grenzen, a charity based in Heidelberg, Germany which has been successfully running a similar programme for several months.
Our target is 75 machines at the moment. There may be a second round or an extended collection period if we receive more, but we’re currently aiming for 75.
Many personal thanks for any donations that we receive.
Donated laptops are sent to a centre in Lviv where they are then passed on to teachers and children. We can provide photographs of children receiving machines for authenticity. I will drive a van containing the laptops to Freundschaft in Heidelberg, and then onto the Ukrainian border where we will be met by a courier for onward dispatch to Lviv.
What do you need?
- Any laptop.
- Netbook (eg Chromebook).
- Tablet (eg iPad).
What are the requirements?
- It has to be working.
- It has to be your own machine that you are donating, not one that belongs to anyone else (unless you are donating on behalf of your company, of course).
- It has to be able to connect to wifi.
- It has to be of a modern enough standard that Zoom or Microsoft Teams can run, as school classes will continue to run, but remotely.
Do I need to wipe the Operating System / personal data?
- Ideally yes. Doing so will save us a lot of time. If you cannot do this then please let us know and we’ll try to wipe the machine ourselves.
What about different plugs, voltages and so on?
- We’ll take care of that. The majority of cases will simply require a plug or power cable to be exchanged. If your donated machine runs on a different voltage to 230/240v then we’ll discuss prior to donation.
The fastest way to achieve this goal would be through one (or more!) mass donation of old corporate machines. If you have any pointers of how that could be achieved, then please let me know. However, any volume of machines from one upwards is welcome.
I will post the progress of this initiative here, on Medium. Everything will be published here including plans, photos, and — of course — where to send your donated machine/s. I’m going to need storage space, a van, fuel, and there’s probably a lot more that I haven’t thought of. It’s early days but the sooner that I get this started, the sooner Ukrainian children can continue their education.
If you would like to get involved or have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.