Arid Lands Newsletter--link to home pageNo. 38, Fall/Winter 1995
The Whole Wired World

Ghana: A call for donation of used computer equipment

For Example . . .

[picture of computer]

Cecil Washington, former director of Operation Crossroads Africa, Inc., used the e-mail list CONSLINK to publish a call for help in support of a volunteer program designed to help bridge the gap between computer access in developed and developing countries. The text of his message follows:

Computer Donations Urgently Requested

First, my deepest apologies for veering off the theme of our List for just a moment, but I feel a great need to ask if some among you would be so kind as to help with a project to find "previously owned" computers, peripherals, office equipment, etc., for an educational program in Africa that is in dire need.

Young African students are **EAGER** to learn about computers...about the Internet...about information systems...and want to be able to improve their lives by taking advantage of the much-lauded "free flow" of information via the Internet -- but have virtually NO opportunity for any of this.

"Computer & Internet Training Workshops" -- open to all without charge -- are the key components of an educational program recently launched in Ghana aiming to help bridge a ghastly, ever-widening gap in computer and Internet utilization between African and Western nations. This unique program gives young Ghanaians early hands-on training and exposure to computers and networks.

This project is being undertaken by The Voluntary Workcamps Association of Ghana (VOLU), a self-help organization with a 50-year record of Hurculean accomplishment at the grassroots level throughout Ghana. This is one of VOLU's most ambitious projects ever. It is a "first" of its kind in Africa. The need for equipment is GREAT....and without it, this very innovative project will be doomed.

Equipment Needed: XT-compatibles, 286's, 386's and up, laptops, desktops, multimedia systems, modems, peripherals, monitors, software, printers, hard drives, other computer-related equipment, as well as Apples and Macs; general productivity and game software and CDs; office equipment (fax machines, electric typewriters), support funds -- all are needed. Equipment in reasonably good condition can definitely be put to good use.

Where to Send Contributions: It is preferable, for the sake of expediency, that equipment be sent directly to VOLU at the address below in Ghana. However, if this would be too difficult to do, donations can be sent to the office of Operation Crossroads Africa in New York, the US sponsor, to be taken to the VOLU office in Accra by Crossroads volunteers going to Ghana to work.

Francis Donkor, National Director
Voluntary Workcamps Association
of Ghana (VOLU, an NGO)
PO Box 1540
Accra, Ghana
West Africa
Tel: 233-21-663486
FAX: 233-21-665960
Telex: 3033 VOLU

Important: So that VOLU will not have to pay customs duty on donated equipment sent to Ghana for this project, please draw up a simple letter entitled "Gift Certificate," itemizing and declaring all items being sent as a "gift" to VOLU.

Please send or fax ahead a copy to Francis Donkor, and attach a copy for Ghana customs to the shipping directions/instructions on the parcel. Request in the shipping instructions that VOLU be phoned at the above number as soon as the parcel arrives in Ghana.

Services that will pick up your parcel at your home or office and deliver it to the door of the VOLU office in Accra, GHANA, include:

DHL 800-225-5345
UPS 800-782-7892 800-742-5877
Federal Express 800-643-0225 800-238-5355

Ai Cargo shipper: Ghana Airways Cargo: 800-588-1101; 718-656-2070; 718-656-3660. Charges for air cargo via Ghana Airways (departing JFK Int'l, NY): $2.05 per pound or $4.50 per kilo plus incidental fees (phone first at above numbers).

Parcels can be sent by UPS to Ghana Airways:
Ghana Airways
Cargo Blding #78
Jamaica, NY 11430

Or, contact a local "freight forwarder" in your Yellow Pages who will handle the entire shipment to VOLU in Ghana.

The Alternative: In the event of difficulty, please send equipment and/or donations to the US sponsor in New York:

LaVerne Brown, Director
Operation Crossroads Africa, Inc.
A Private/Non-Profit Organization
475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115-0050
Tel: 212-870-2106
FAX: 212-870-2055

I would enjoy hearing from you. I would enjoy knowing of your desire to help.

Cecil Washington
University of California
Fax/Msg: (310) 632-1582

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