Clitheroe Rotarians send IT equipment over to Africa

Rotarian David Bleazard with children from Barnacre Road Primary School, Longridge. donating projectors.
Rotarian David Bleazard with children from Barnacre Road Primary School, Longridge. donating projectors.
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Members of Clitheroe Rotary have expressed their thanks to all those people who donated unloved IT equipment to its IT Schools Africa project.

The seed for IT Schools Africa (ITSA) was sown as an old computer was thrown into a skip.

Clitheroe Rotarians at Automotion with Julie Watson, who is pictured second from the left.

Clitheroe Rotarians at Automotion with Julie Watson, who is pictured second from the left.

Monis Khalifa, ITSA’s IT manager, watched as the computer was dumped and thought to himself is there not a better way to recycle old computers? He mentioned this to his friend Michael Ratcliffe, and between the two of them, they decided that there definitely was a better way – to send them to African schools!

Subsequently, ITSA was established in 2004 with operations starting the following year with the renovation of a warehouse in Cheltenham. And it was from there the first used computers were shipped in a container to Africa.

Rotary member David Bleazard said: “Today we shipped from Clitheroe to Cheltenham the amazing total of 150 computer towers, 40 laptops, 100 plus flat screen monitors and data projectors, plus a mountain of printers, cables and keyboards. This is the second truckload from Clitheroe during the last few months.”

International chairman, Howard Blackburn, added that he was “overwhelmed by the generosity of individuals, schools and companies from as far afield as Cumbria, Skipton and Longridge, and to other Rotary Clubs across Lancashire, who collected equipment on our behalf. And a special thanks to Julie Watson at Automotion, Clitheroe, for providing storage”.

Only last week ITSA shipped 500 computers from its Cheltenham depot to Zambia, making room for the Clitheroe delivery to be checked over and have all data removed from hard drives.

Clitheroe Rotary’s IT project is continuing and people are asked to drop off their unwanted equipment at Sowerbutts Furniture Store, King Street, Clitheroe. The store can be accessed via the rear entrance from the car park opposite Ribble Valley Borough Council offices.