Alexander McBride asks residents to send him their laptops. The 17-year-old Millburn High School junior intends to refurbish potentially usable computers and send them to a girls school in the African nation of Tanzania.
Young women from the school, which teaches students in their late teens and early 20s, will receive the laptops so they can continue their education in college, according to McBride.
McBride refurbishes the laptops through Laptops 4 Africa, an initiative that was created by a group of Millburn High School students. McBride said Laptops 4 Africa is in the process of obtaining a 501(c)3 status.
McBride said he started the idea for Laptops 4 Africa with his friend’s father, Craig Leisher.
Leisher works for The Nature Conservancy, according to McBride, and travels to Tanzania for work about six times a year and delivers the laptops when he is there.
“These students really need the computers so that’s how we came up with the idea,” said McBride.
According to the Laptops 4 Africa website, approximately 100 computers are needed a year for the students at the girls school in Tanzania.
So far, 21 students have received a laptop, explained Alexander’s father, James McBride. James McBride said the recipients are mostly from the girls school in Tanzania, and some are from Kenya and Zambia.
“When we send you a laptop, will you send us a letter and tell us what you’re doing?” Alexander’s mother Emmy McBride said about communicating with the students from the girls school.
“Masters students are supposed to conduct research in their area of specialization. In this case, I will use the laptop you have donated to write a proposal that I will present in the university. Later I will go to collect data, analyze, and finally to compile all the data to write up my dissertation,’ stated Lukas.
“When we got the first picture and the first note, we realized it’s the real deal, so we started kicking things up a notch,” McBride said.
McBride’s goal is to keep giving to the African students.
Laptops 4 Africa is looking for more laptops and is aiming to get the laptops faster to recipients, according to McBride.
He said individuals may either donate unwanted laptop computers to him for refurbishing, or they can make a monetary donation to assist with repair and shipping costs.
The computers cannot be so obsolescent that their operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft or Apple.
People interested in donating may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laptops 4 Africa has partnered with AfricAid, an organization that, according to the AfricAid website, https://africaid.org, provides scholarships and direct support to Tanzanian schools.