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Old ICT equipment goes to charity

10 May 2017

The University of Groningen has about 8000 PCs in use. To this day, every PC has been used for 4 years and is replaced in the fifth year. So every year after the replacement round, a large amount of old PCs are being returned. What happens with these computers?

Robert Janz works at the Center for Information Technology and has been engaged in international ICT projects in developing countries for years. One year, Robert was at a school for orphans in Zambia and - as in so many developing countries - they hardly had any PCs. When returning to the Netherlands, he informed whether it would be possible to donate old PCs from the university to this school in Zambia. Following this agreement, along came another challenge: transport of the equipment to Zambia. Thanks to Robert's network, the PCs arrived a few months later in Zambia.

The computers arrived without software. A group of local IT professionals installed all 40 computers and set them up in a computer room in the school. The school managers, teachers and children alike were very happy with the donated PCs. A festive opening was organised with local dignitaries from the area. With the computers in place, the children can get to know and work on their ICT skills. A nice detail is that there is still a red UG plaque on the computers, as a reminder of the donation of the University of Groningen.

A wonderful initiative and even more PCs are scheduled to be donated!

Procedure UG

Old workplace equipment can be discharged or destroyed by the supplier. The UG has determined that all workplace equipment must be stored on location. This because there is hardly any demand for second-hand computer equipment. Old PCs can also be destroyed but that is regarded as too wasteful.

Therefore, the university chose to donate the written equipment (wiped first) to nonprofit organisations at home and abroad. The UG gets regular requests from different organisations for old equipment.

For example, in recent years the following organisations and countries have received equipment:

  • Study associations
  • Primary schools
  • Foundation 'Groningen Verwelkomt'
  • Hortus Haren
  • Sports associations
  • Various other foundations
  • Romania
  • Latvia
  • Zambia

Robert’s story proves that these donations are widely appreciated!

Last modified:10 May 2017 10.45 a.m.
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