Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




INTERNET SPACE
Recycled computers offer hope to Romania's needy
by Staff Writers
Galati, Romania (AFP) Feb 13, 2013


In Romania, one of the EU's poorest countries, hope to many has come in the form of a computer recycling program that is helping jobless adults and disadvantaged Roma youth beat the odds.

"People joined forces and created a win-win situation that gives everyone a chance," said Elisabeta Lacatus, a teacher in the eastern city of Galati.

Lacatus helps autistic children and Roma youth living in dire straits in Galati, influenced in part by her own experience raising an autistic son.

She gets a helping hand from the Bucharest-based "Ateliere fara frontiere" (Workshop Without Borders), whose core activity is recycling computers.

"They have a program enabling homeless and disabled people, as well as school dropouts, to fix computers in order to rejoin the labour market," Lacatus said.

The organisation provides them with counselling and help locating housing in addition to a salary and training.

Since 2009, the program has helped 80 people reintegrate back into the community, with half of them able to find a job elsewhere.

The used computers -- donated by embassies and firms like retailers Carrefour and Auchan, the Dacia subsidiary of carmaker Renault and energy giant GDF Suez -- are then gifted to local schools and communities after their makeover.

The group also sells a percentage of the computers to recycling firms to fund the operation.

It's an effort in line with last year's calls by the EU and UN for countries to improve their recycling efforts, as currently only 13 percent of electronic waste is recycled in the world.

In the EU alone, more than 10 million tonnes of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) are generated a year, part of which is exported illegally to developing countries.

Electronic waste, which contains toxic material like heavy metals or brominated flame retardant, can cause widespread damage to the environment and human health.

Last year, Ateliere fara frontiere collected more than 100 tonnes of WEEE for its recycling program.

-- Growing discrepancy in computer literacy --

The organisation also provides a boost to those on the receiving end, given the large discrepancy in computer access between the capital and the rest of the country, the 27-nation EU's second poorest after Bulgaria.

Among those who benefited from the 1,380 computers donated by the non-governmental organisation last year is School 15 Elena Cuza in Galati.

"In our school, most of the kids don't have toys at home because their families can't afford them", said physical education teacher Nicolae Ciocan.

"Many families have no electricity nor running water, so you can imagine they don't have a computer either."

Ciocan has been fighting tirelessly for 14 years to provide his Roma students with a better future in a highly prejudiced society.

"Those who say that Roma can't be taught are wrong. Every year, we see many of them achieve great success," he said.

"But they have to be offered support since they've been carrying around heavier burdens than others since birth."

Enslaved for centuries, Romanian Roma still face discrimination in the job and housing markets, despite some progress in the field of education.

Last year, outgoing US ambassador Mark Gitenstein compared the Roma's plight to that of blacks in the American Deep South of his childhood.

For School 15, it has to make do with a neighbourhood without public parks or playgrounds and computers that are a decade old.

But Lacatus and the school staff are doing their best to offset the growing discrepancy in computer literacy among the country's children.

Lacatus secured several computers for the school through the Ateliere fara frontiere program, as well as for the space where she offers after-school activities and computer classes much beloved by students.

"I don't have a computer at home, so I'm very happy to learn here," said 10-year-old David, while drawing a house on the screen.

Nine-year-old classmate Petrisor deftly used his mouse to sketch a cherry tree, something he can only do here as his caretaker grandparents can't afford a computer.

"They're very interested in computers because it's both a learning tool and a game for them," Ciocan said about the students.

Down the road, Lacatus would like to harness the power of computers to help autistic children like her son communicate.

But for now, the recycling program is helping people like 24-year-old Thalo Kitoka make ends meet and find meaning by fixing computers.

"I feel useful, my work matters to these children."

.


Related Links
Satellite-based Internet technologies






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





INTERNET SPACE
New modeling approach transforms imaging technologies
West Lafayette IN (SPX) Feb 12, 2013
Researchers are improving the performance of technologies ranging from medical CT scanners to digital cameras using a system of models to extract specific information from huge collections of data and then reconstructing images like a jigsaw puzzle. The new approach is called model-based iterative reconstruction, or MBIR. "It's more-or-less how humans solve problems by trial and erro ... read more


INTERNET SPACE
Building a lunar base with 3D printing

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

INTERNET SPACE
In milestone, Mars rover collects first bedrock sample

How The World's Saltiest Pond Gets Its Salt; Implications For Water On Mars

Lockheed Martin Completes Assembly, Begins Environmental Testing of NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft

NASA Curiosity Rover Collects First Martian Bedrock Sample

INTERNET SPACE
Supersonic skydiver even faster than thought

Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran's first spaceman

Iran's Bio-Capsule Comes Back from Space

A Hero For Humankind: Yuri Gagarin's Spaceflight

INTERNET SPACE
Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

INTERNET SPACE
Progress docks with ISS

NASA to Send Inflatable Pod to International Space Station

ISS to get inflatable module

ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

INTERNET SPACE
Ariane 5 delivers record payload off back-to-back launches this week

Eutelsat and Arianespace sign new multi-year multiple launch services agreement

Ariane 5 Arrives At Kourou For 4th Automated Transfer Vehicle Mission

Rocketdyne Powers Atlas 5 Upper Stage, Placing New Landsat In Orbit

INTERNET SPACE
Earth-like planets are right next door

Direct Infrared Image Of An Arm In Disk Demonstrates Transition To Planet Formation

Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Next Door

Earth-like planets may be closer than thought: study

INTERNET SPACE
Indra Develops The First High-Resolution Passive Radar System

ORNL scientists solve mercury mystery

3D Printing on the Micrometer Scale

Nextdoor renovates before taking on the world




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement