WantedTech is a social enterprise with a digital platform that allows private and corporate donors to connect directly with tech-savvy applicants to donate computers that can help scholars and students access online resources and flourish academically in an increasingly digital world.
The used but fully functioning devices are distributed based on the specific needs and aspirations of each applicant as well as their geographic location. By matching donors with applicants who are nearby, WantedTech offers a more direct way around many of the issues that have traditionally come with distribution and logistics in underserved communities.
The WantedTech platform allows corporate donors to choose who they donate to. Tsebo, selected learners in Grade 11 and 12, as well as first-year university, college and TVET students for their laptop donations. In addition, desktop computers were distributed to young applicants in charity and education from underserviced communities throughout South Africa.
“Last-mile delivery has always been a huge challenge in this area,” said PJ Quarmby, Founder of WantedTech. Many offline families live in areas without formal addresses, making courier delivery complicated and expensive. Because accessibility remains our key concern, we are making use of PEP Paxi and Pargo courier service with collection points at Clicks and PEP stores located throughout South Africa.”
Offline learners have for years already felt the impact of the lack of connectivity that many take for granted. Expanding access to reliable digital services for students has always been a chief priority of government’s national strategy for harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Now, in the midst of an international healthcare emergency and a new ‘stay home’ culture, these vulnerable learners risk being left even further behind their peers. Aided by the WantedTech platform, quality older devices that are no longer used can be given a new purpose and change lives for the better.
“We were delighted to learn of WantedTech and their mission to bridge the digital divide and break the cycle of poverty that it perpetuates,” said Tim Walters, Group CEO at Tsebo Solutions Group. “Our IT department was only too happy to help clear the hard-drives and load new operating systems onto all the devices, so they are ready to use as soon as the learners receive them.”
Whether in times of crisis or well into the future, as we move into a new normal that will improve access to distance learning and remote working tools, South Africa’s business community has access to critical resources that could change the lives of learners and first-time entrants into the workforce.
It is WantedTech’s aim to “Bridge the digital divide – one gadget at a time”. By cutting out any middlemen and the need for any money to change hands in this simple act of giving, WantedTech offers organisations like Tsebo a way to make a difference not just to a cause, but to individuals. Anyone with unused gadgets gathering dust in the home or office is encouraged to learn more about becoming a donor at www.wantedtech.org, or follow @WantedTech4Youth on Instagram or WantedTech on Facebook.
Testimonials:Sakhile M is a Matric Learner and school leader in Ermelo “Words cannot express how happy I am to have been this fortunate. On behalf of my school and everyone’s lives you have touched with this act of kindness – thank you. You have taught me a lesson of giving back. I have set myself a challenge to change another kid’s life just as how mine was changed. I want to thank the WantedTech team behind this great initiative and my laptop donor, Tsebo.”
Zibuyile C “I am a full-time student at the Creative Arts College studying Film and TV. I am a determined and hardworking filmmaker in the making, trying to find a way to the top in this competitive industry. It would be an honour to receive any useful gadgets (preferably a laptop) for this faculty, to also help me initiate my business in the future. Thank you.”