eCommerceNews New Zealand - Technology news for digital commerce decision-makers
Story image
Digital Future Aotearoa calls for greater laptop donations
Thu, 14th Mar 2024

In a heartfelt appeal, Digital Future Aotearoa, through its Recycle A Device (RAD) initiative, is urgently calling for laptop donations to support the education and employment aspirations of children across Aotearoa. With stocks critically low and demand continuously rising, the organization emphasizes the crucial need for laptops that are less than 10 years old and come with chargers to help bridge the digital divide and foster digital literacy among the youth.

RAD, a project that breathes new life into preloved laptops, is more than just a recycling initiative; it is a lifeline for many young individuals who lack the resources to access essential learning tools and job information. "Your preloved laptop can live a second life and open the door to education, employment, digital skills and participation with RAD," the organization states, underscoring the transformative impact such a donation can have on someone's future.

All donated devices undergo a rigorous data sanitisation process at Entelar Group, ensuring that all personal information is securely erased to an enterprise-grade standard using Blackbelt technology. Following this, the laptops are refurbished by the skilled hands of RAD club members based in High Schools or Community Groups throughout the country. These refurbishers, described as "wizards" by RAD, are instrumental in reviving laptops to their former glory, making them ready for their new owners.

The initiative not only addresses the immediate need for digital access but also plays a significant role in environmental sustainability. By giving old laptops a new purpose, RAD contributes significantly to reducing e-waste and promoting a more circular economy. The organisation proudly announced, "In 2023, we gifted 2,374 laptops into the community, and gave out our 4,000th laptop since we began in 2020," a testament to the initiative's success and the collective effort of its supporters.

Beyond the tangible benefits of the program, the psychological impact on the recipients is profound. A RAD laptop can boost someone's confidence and provide them with the freedom to self-determine their future, an invaluable gift in today's digital age.

However, the journey is far from over. With achievements such as receiving two NZ Hi-Tech Awards and the IDC Future Enterprise ‘Future of Trust’ Award for Australasia, RAD has garnered significant recognition for its impact and innovation. "It’s great to have this recognition for the hard work our team does and the impact this has for our community, but also to leverage to secure funding, which is our biggest priority and challenge," stated Bronwyn Scott, General Manager of Digital Future Aotearoa.

The organization's plea for support extends beyond laptop donations; they are seeking funding and the establishment of more repair clubs in schools and communities. With a cost per laptop of $186.23, RAD presents a cost-effective, socially, and environmentally friendly avenue to empower kids to reach their full potential.

As RAD looks to the future, the collective support of the community, businesses, and individuals will be paramount in continuing to meet the growing demand for digital access among the youth. The call to action is clear: to look around, reach out, and contribute to a cause that not only recycles devices but also renews hope and opportunity for the next generation.