World Computer Exchange believes that exposing youth in developing countries to a 21st century education will help them combat poverty, disease, injustice and instability.
Our mission is to reduce the digital divide for youth in developing countries; to use our global network of partnerships to enhance communities in these countries; and to promote the reuse of electronic equipment and its ultimate disposal in an environmentally responsible manner.
WCE’s assets are our logistics capacity, our network of 4,350 interested groups in 75 developing countries and our 800 volunteers. We work though our 900 formal Partners, 11 Chapters, 9 Field Associates and our 25 global Strategic Allies to continually improve and strengthen our following six services:
- Low-Cost Computers: The hundreds of volunteers in WCEâ€™s 11 Chapters in the USA, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Canada provide refurbished desktop and laptop computers preloaded with our content and a list of new technology to schools, libraries, community centers & universities in developing countries. To date, WCE has shipped computers to 3,290 computer labs connecting 4.6 million youth in 45 developing countries. The development and implementation of this service is led by Pamela Cooney.
- Content: The volunteers in WCEâ€™s Content Project research and get approval to include information related to education, culture, agriculture, health, entrepreneurship, leadership, girlsâ€™ empowerment and STEM education, computer recycling, technology, potable water, and solar energy. This content along with a copy of Wikipedia and Khan Academy videos are preloaded into WCEâ€™s computers in either English, French, or Spanish â€“ before shipment to our 900 Partner organizations. The development and implementation of this service is led by Jack Oâ€™Donnell. See our Content pack in English.
- Capacity Building: WCEâ€™s 275 volunteer country Development Officers provide online long-term assistance to build the leadership and organizational capacity of our 900 Partner organizations in 75 developing countries in the following eight areas: technology planning, computer and network troubleshooting, fundraising, social media, educational use of the internet, organizational development, e-waste solutions and orientation about the use of WCE Computer for Girls tools. The development and implementation of this service is led by Timothy Anderson.
- Training: WCEâ€™s eCorps volunteers, with the help of some of our Strategic Allies, offer short-term on-site teacher and staff training in the following eight areas: technology planning, computer and network troubleshooting, fundraising, social media, educational use of the internet, organizational development, e-waste solutions and orientation about the use of WCE Computers for Girls tools. Volunteers are recruited to meet the training needs as defined by our Partners. WCE has sent 16 teams of professional eCorps tech volunteers to provide training in the following 11 countries: Dominican Republic (2 teams), Georgia, Ghana (2 teams), Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, Tanzania (4 teams), and Zimbabwe. 41 WCE eCorps â€œTravelersâ€ have helped in 32 countries. A third element of this training is our Chapters in the USA and Canada offering skills training and tech mentors to youth to help them with entrepreneurship and tech skills. The development and implementation of this service is led by Karen Page.
- Sustainable eWaste: WCE staff and volunteers working with some of our Strategic Allies develop and implement our eWaste initiative in two ways: raising public awareness about the need to recycle toxins appropriately like we did in the www.Reciclemos.net campaign (funded by IDRC) for Latin America and the Caribbean and working to create WCE Chapters in developing countries with one or two additional offerings that we do not offer in our USA, Australian, Puerto Rican, and Canadian Chapters. The tools that our volunteers are developing in this initiative will also strengthen our capacity building, training and content services. The first of these Chapters is WCE Puerto Rico. WCE has now hired Field Associates with facilities and tech staff to help market WCE services and develop WCE Chapters in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. We are now looking for Field Associates in Haiti, Tanzania, and Uganda. The development and implementation of this service is led by Stephen Sena.