World Computer Exchange

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World Computer Exchange (WCE) is a USA based charity organization who's 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."

According to UNESCO, it is incorporated in March 2000. It is North America's largest non-profit supplier of tested used computers to schools and community organizations in developing countries.[1]

WCE provides computers and technology, and the support to make them useful in the developing communities. WCE delivers educational content and curriculum on agriculture, health entrepreneurship, and even water and energy. The program also ensures that teachers will know how to use the technology and content by providing staff and teacher training, as well as ongoing tech team support.[2]

Each chapter of WCE collects donated computers, refurbishes and prepares the shipment for the projects. While preparing shipments, they also raise funds to ship the computers.[3] [4][5][6][7] Volunteers of WCE chapters inspect each computer, repair if necessary, install operating system as well as educational material to each computer.[8][9] [10]


The organization is a non-profit organization, and tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) in the US.[11] WCE headquarters is in Hull, Massachusetts, and there are 15 chapters in the US, 5 in Canada.[12][13][14][15][16]


Recipients of computers are called partners by World Computer Exchange. The requests of computer donation come from the partners. WCE then starts a project to meet the request of the partner. Once the refurbished computers and the funds to ship the computers are fulfilled, they initiate the shipment. To install the computers at the partner site requires either technical assistance sent by WCE called "eCorp Tech", or other sources. "eCorps Tech" volunteer to travel with shipment and install the computers at the destination site.[17][18][19] When WCE requires the other sources to install computers, WCE coordinates the shipments of computers with other non-profit organizations, such as University of the People, Peace Corps,,[20] ADEA (Assoc. for the development of Education in Africa) and others. [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]


WCE uses Ubuntu operating system to prepare computers, citing the cost of license and less prone computer viruses while providing sufficient computing environment such as word processor and printer drivers.[27] Unlike One Laptop per Child, the prepared computers do not contain specialized software. Each computer is loaded with educational materials which allows users to learn materials without internet connection.


In 1999, Timothy Anderson found that an organization that supplied donated refurbished computers to other countries wasn’t established in the U.S. With a small group of volunteer members, Anderson developed the World Computer Exchange (WCE). [28] [29] [30]

By November 2002, the organisation shipped 4,000 computers to 585 schools in many developing countries. [31]

By October, 2011, along with partner organizations, WCE has shipped 30,000 computers, established 2,675 computer labs. [32] [33]

In February 2012, Boston chapter (also headquarters chapter) in Hull, Massachusetts sent out their 68th shipment bringing their total to 13,503 computers.[34]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Computer Donation". Support for Resource Centres and Libraries. UNESCO Institutaion for Education. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "EdTech for the Third World: Tech Tools". EdTech for the Third World: Tech Tools. George Washington University Institute for Public Policy and Global Communication. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
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  24. ^ University of the People#World Computer Exchange
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