IT equipment deemed surplus after the closure of an education facility in Coventry is set to be given new life to help support children in Africa.

Computers, laptops and printers that were last used by students at Coventry College’s Henley Campus, which closed last year, have been refurbished and sent to a Zimbabwe primary school thanks to IT asset disposal and recycling business SawiTECH.

The collection, which includes obsolete computer equipment from the Henley site as well as scanners and projectors, will help to improve learning resources at Chimurenga Primary School in the Eastern Province of Zimbabwe.

SawiTECH takes its name from an abbreviation of ‘Sahwira’, meaning best friend in the Shona language native to Zimbabwe and other parts of southern Africa.

The Coventry-based business, which is registered with the Environment Agency and the Information Commissioner’s Office, safely wipes hard drives that are no longer being used by education providers and other organisations which have replaced or updated their equipment.

The towers and monitors which are still fit for purpose are then loaded with new software before being distributed for use.

The process, which includes free collection and provides rebates for some equipment, is GDPR compliant and delivered using industry-leading data destruction software.

Peaceful Chimbwanda, Asset Recovery Manager at SawiTECH, hopes that more colleges, schools and businesses in the region will support the project to improve education access in Zimbabwe.

He said: “We were delighted that Coventry College approached us to ask what could be done with equipment left over from the closure of the Henley Campus.

“The equipment will go a long way to helping children in Zimbabwe to make the most of their education, and is another step on our way to expanding our network in Zimbabwean schools and eventually into other countries.

“The business is growing steadily, and we have seen more and more Coventry and Warwickshire organisations getting involved in recent months, but we would love for even more to reach out to help us make a difference to children without the level of IT access that is taken for granted in the UK.”

Gemma Knott, Vice Principal for Business Growth, Engagement and Partnerships at Coventry College, said: “SawiTECH has provided a solution that is both practical for us and extremely beneficial to children in Zimbabwe, and we hope that the equipment gets as much use there as it did at our former Henley Campus.”

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