Using Computers to Take a Byte Out of Poverty
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 1, 2009) – Knowing that education can help break the vicious cycle that traps generations in poverty, the largest international charity in the United States, Food For The Poor, is embarking on a mission to send thousands of computers to developing countries.
The Florida-based charity recently shipped more than 1,150 computer workstations to schools, vocational centers and community training facilities in Jamaica where schoolchildren and adults alike are eager to jump into the world of bits and bytes.
“A child born into poverty cannot dream of a better life if she doesn’t even know that there are other options and opportunities in the world beyond,” said Food For The Poor’s President and CEO, Robin Mahfood. “These computers provide a vehicle for those children to realize their dreams and an opportunity for them to use education as a vehicle to escape generations of poverty.”
To ensure that more children have an opportunity to become computer literate, Food For The Poor has partnered with the California-based company Ncomputing to build a cost-effective system that allows several people to use a single PC or server at the same time. The systems are also green, said Mahfood.
“By using a single server to feed six or seven workstations, these computer systems use considerably less power – an important consideration since many of the areas where we work have very unreliable electrical service,” said Mahfood.
So far, Food For The Poor has provided more than 7,400 workstations to destitute residents in Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Guyana, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Mahfood says Food For The Poor hopes to raise funds to ship enough computer systems to help at least 100,000 poor children every year.
Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, serves the poor of the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S. Food For The Poor provides food, emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, basic housing, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. More than 97 percent of all donations received in 2008 went toward programs that help the poor. For more information, visit www.foodforthepoor.org.
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