Author: Liam Taylor
The State Library of Queensland is running workshops that reduce e-waste while teaching refugee and migrant students to build their own computers.
The program, which has seen over 100 students enrol over the past year, involves deconstructing old government computers destined for landfill and building the individual components into working computers. In the process students are taught about software, hardware and operating systems with each participant taking home a machine they rebuilt.
Any new Australian resident is welcome to sign up to the program, with participants from countries including Rwanda, Kenya, Syria, Thailand and the Democratic Republic of Congo having attended. The library has also placed a special focus on encouraging women to get involved.
The ultimate aim is to empower participants with digital literacy, a crucial component to employability in the modern workplace. Tamenya Gonzaga, a Ugandan who was one of the first trainees in the program, now runs the workshops.
“I am an immigrant myself and I know what they’re going through, I know where they’ve been, and I know their stories,” Gonzaga told ABC News.
“We’re giving them skills – hardware skills and software skills. If anything [goes wrong], you don’t have to run to the workshop – you can fix it yourself.”
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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