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“Mind The Gap”

News Business 27.06.2011 Aaron Grunwald
Photo: Etienne Delorme (archives)

Corporate social responsibility: The FFL launches a new campaign Tuesday to help bridge the digital divide for thousands of African students.

Aiming to deliver thousands of PCs to African students, the Fondation Follerau Luxembourg is unveiling its “Mind The Gap” programme at this week’s ICT Spring technology conference at Luxexpo.

If you look at how [many] African children have to struggle to get their degrees, you will see in the end they have absolutely no digital skills,” says Jean Hilger, president of the FFL and chief information officer at state savings bank BCEE. “And of course they will not be able to get competitive positions in [today’s] economy.

To help close this gap, the NGO is seeking large-scale donations of functioning computers, to equip schools in Benin and Mali, as well as financial contributions to cover shipping and training.

Organisations that have a minimum of 20 computers in good condition can contact the FFL to arrange a pick-up time, Hilger explains. Working with its local NGO partners, “this equipment will be used in months’ time in an African school.

He adds: “What we are doing is not recycling electronic waste. We’re taking computers that are working fine down to the schools and we train the people on how to use them. We do not trade, sell or recycle the PCs, we redistribute them.

End-to-end costs are about 40 euro per computer, but companies are free to contribute either PCs or the needed cash, or both.

For more information, visit the FFL area inside Clearstream’s stand (number B06) during the ICT Spring event, or go to www.ffl.lu (in French), phone +352 44 66 06 1 or email [email protected] (in English or French).