PETALING JAYA, Nov 5 (Sin Chew Daily) – Volunteers from Buddhist group Tzu-Chi have created a win-win situation by refurbishing used computers for underprivileged students to attend online classes while reducing e-waste at the same time.
They give the used computers a new lease of life and assist the underprivileged students to be on track with their learning.
It started five years ago when Benjamin Chong, a volunteer with Tzu-Chi Malaysia, discovered that many children from poor families could not afford computers.
An IT professional, Chong started refurbishing used computers and laptops for poor families under Tzu-Chi’s care.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many students from poor families were unable to attend online classes, a practice necessitated under the new normal by schools converting physical classes to online ones.
Chong and his team of more than ten volunteers refurbished used computers to be distributed to poor families.
The volunteers also taught the families how to operate the computers through remote operation during the pandemic instead of visiting them personally.
As of this year, they have delivered a total of 169 sets of refurbished computers and laptops to underprivileged families.
One of the recipients, Jadinah, is happy to have received a refurbished computer as her three children have to take turns to attend online classes using a single mobile phone.
They find it difficult due to the small screen.
With a refurbished computer now, Jadinah is happy that her children can attend their online classes in a better way.
In a phone interview with Sin Chew Daily, Sio Kee Hong, deputy chief executive officer of Tzu-Chi Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, said Chong and his team had been refurbishing hundreds of computers since 2016, benefiting over 800 primary and secondary school students.
Sio said many B40 families called up Tzi-Chi as they were unable to buy computers for their children to attend online classes.
“Many used computers which are slow in speed can actually be refurbished,” he said.
Those interested to donate their used computers or laptops can call Tzu-Chi Kuala Lumpur and Selangor at 03-6256 3800.
The branch is located at 359 Jalan Kepong, 52000 Kuala Lumpur.
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