Nonprofit Uses Computers to Fight Poverty
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 30, 2010) - By the middle of May, every orphanage in Food For The Poor’s Angels Of Hope program will have computers for the children who live there. Recognizing that education and technology are crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty, the largest international charity in the United States has shipped 636 computer workstations this past year to 94 orphanages in developing nations.
“Although we meet the day-to-day needs of the poor by providing them food and water, we must think more long-term,” said Robin Mahfood, Presdident/CEO of Food For The Poor. “We must provide the tools to help them find a new future that includes meaningful work, an income and, perhaps most importantly, hope.”
For this project, Food For The Poor utilized Ncomputing X550 technology that allows sharing of one PC with up to six users. One of the additional benefits of using this system in developing countries is that it lowers electrical consumption requirements by 90 percent.
The efficiency of the program attracted donors Sean and Amy Rutter, but it was their passion for helping children in need that led them to support the computer program.
“The computer program is intriguing to me as a businessman, because it offers innovation in a cost-effective way,” Sean Rutter said. “It has large potential to be replicated more easily and offers kids more opportunity to be connected in ways that are more transformative. That is really what it is all about -- helping the children.”
Many of the children in the Angels Of Hope homes enter the orphanages without previously having the opportunity to receive an education. The staff in the homes work to tutor and mentor the children to assist them in “catching up.”
By providing computer labs for the orphanages, Food For The Poor has enabled the homes to offer a higher level of support to their children. Instead of being disadvantaged, the children have the advantage of a full computer lab in their residence, along with individual instructors who teach the basics of computation as well as assist the children in their homework assignments and online research.
Food For The Poor has an ambitious goal of distributing 40,000 computers in the Caribbean and Latin America. This initiative will be at the heart of a May 4 conference, “The Future of Technology & Education in Haiti and the D.R.” in Santo Domingo. Confirmed speakers at the conference at the FunGlode Conference Center include U.N. Deputy Ambassador Francis Lorenzo; and Sarbuland Khan, Executive Advisor, United Nations Global Alliance for ICT in Development (UNGAID). President Clinton will deliver a special video message from The Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation.
“Giving a child access to a computer changes their lives,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor, who will open the conference. “In our quest to end poverty, education and technology might be our best tools. Imagine the world we open up for children when we can connect, through computers, to learning that has no boundaries.”
For information on the conference, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on how to support the Angels Of Hope program, visit foodforthepoor.org/angelshope.
Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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