Esplanade Travel’s office recently updated to new computers and wondered what to do with the old ones. Even though the computers were no longer of use to us, we knew that they could still be of good use to others. Through a stroke of luck, Travel Consultant Hattie Rosenberg had a connection with the non-profit organization techdren.
Techdren was started by Champlain College students Abigail Barr, Anna Matich, and Jacqueline Noborikawa who traveled to Tanzania in 2017. They visited two primary schools where they learned the students’ favorite subject: Information and Communication Technology. However, the students study this topic by textbook only, as schools do not have the funds to buy actual computers. This is where Barr, Matich, and Noborikawa got the inspiration to start a charity where they could make technology accessible to these students. Techdren was born, and the organization collects used computers and laptops, refurbishes them, and ensures their safe transportation to Tanzania.
The benefit of technology donation is threefold: it gives students a tangible approach to learning basic applications such as email and word processing, provides the opportunity to improve English and math skills, and provides software for learning and researching different subjects. Barr, Matich, and Noborikawa all believe that in today’s era, technology is essential to learn and understand. Ultimately, the skills learned through technology facilitates students finding jobs, hence being able to support themselves and contribute to society.
We asked Matich what techdren means to her: “With techdren it’s all in the name: technology for children. To me personally techdren is all about working to empower children by giving them access to new resources, i.e., technology. … Coming from a background where I had easy access to explore technology from desktops to cellphones, and from a college that has a strong focus on tech, myself and the two other co-founders, Abigail Barr and Jacqueline Noborikawa, figured we were in a perfect position to help.”
This past weekend the computers were dropped off at the techdren headquarters in Burlington, Vermont. They will be refurbished and equipped with the appropriate operating systems before making their way to Tanzania to be used in schools, enabling technology education to students!
Tanzania is a frequent destination for Esplanade clients. It makes the Esplanade team proud that in addition to contributing to their tourism we are also able to support the educational pursuit of their young students.
To find out how you can help make technology accessible to students in Tanzania, please visit: https://www.techdren.org/