World Computer Exchange

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World Computer Exchange
WCE Logo.jpg
FocusComputer reuse and education
300–400 active

World Computer Exchange (WCE) is a United States and Canada based charity organization whose 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 North America's largest non-profit supplier of tested used computers to schools and community organizations in developing countries.[1]


WCE was founded in 1999 by Timothy Anderson. [2] [3] [4] It is a non-profit organization.[5] Its headquarters are in Hull, Massachusetts, and there are 15 chapters in the US and five in Canada.[6][7][8][9][10] In 2015, WCE opened a chapter in Puerto Rico.[11]

By November 2002, the organisation shipped 4,000 computers to 585 schools in many developing countries. [12]

By October, 2011, along with partner organizations, WCE has shipped 30,000 computers, established 2,675 computer labs. [13] [14] In February 2012, the Boston Chapter sent out their 68th shipment bringing their total to 13,503 computers.[15]


WCE provides computers and technology, and the support to make them useful in developing communities. WCE delivers educational content and curriculum on agriculture, health, entrepreneurship, 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 support.[16]

Each chapter of WCE collects donated computers, refurbishes and prepares them for shipment. They also raise funds to ship the computers.[17] [18][19][20][21] Volunteers inspect and repair each computer, then install the operating system and educational material onto each computer.[22][23]

WCE calls recipients of its computers "partners." The requests of computer donations originate from the partners. Once the refurbished computers and the funds to ship the computers are fulfilled, WCE initiates shipment. When possible, WCE coordinates shipments with other organizations, such as University of the People, Peace Corps,[24],[25] ADEA (Assoc. for the development of Education in Africa) and others. [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]

In June 2013, WCE Chicago chapter sent 400 computers to Mexico, and 300 to the Dominican Republic with help of 85 volunteers.[33]

In November 2015, WCE sent two Spanish speakers to visit Honduras for two weeks in 2015 to pilot tech skills training for youth under a contract with World Vision.[34]

The WCE Computers for Girls (C4G) initiative is field testing of eight tools to provide technological training and STEM education for interested teachers helping their girl students in four West African countries (Ghana, Liberia, Mali, and Zambia)[35] and Pakistan.[36]

In September 2016, World Computer Exchange-Puerto Rico and, two not-for-profit corporations, have announced their alliance to improve public school and family access to technology where needed throughout Puerto Rico. [37]


To install computers at partner sites without access to experts, WCE recruits and supports volunteers from the USA under its "eCorps" initiative. To be eligible, volunteers must be 21 years of age, have necessary tech skills, and be prepared to self-fund their travel and accommodation expenses. 18 eCorps training teams have worked in Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.[38][39][40]

The eCorps "Travelers" program is geared towards those already planning to go to one of the countries in the WCE network, to provide tech support during their trip. 79 eCorps "Travelers" have visited the following 41 developing countries including: Armenia, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. In 2015, "Travelers" visited: Cambodia, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and South Africa.[41]


WCE uses the Ubuntu operating system on their computers, citing the cost of license and being less prone to malware while providing a computing environment such as word processor and printer drivers.[42] Unlike One Laptop per Child, the computers don't contain specialized software. Each computer is loaded with educational materials to allow users to learn materials without internet connection.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Computer Donation". Support for Resource Centres and Libraries. UNESCO Institutaion for Education. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Boston College Magazine » Winter 2011 » Works & Days » Net worker". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  3. ^ Amanda Wills (2010-12-06). "Earth911 Holiday Charity Spotlight: World Computer Exchange". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Charity Report - World Computer Exchange -". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  6. ^ "Chapters". World Computer Exchange. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  7. ^ Williams, Chuck (2012-12-18). "Around Town". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "- CougSync at Washington State University - Pullman". Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  10. ^ "World Computer Exchange of the Palouse". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  11. ^ "Puerto Rico Online". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  12. ^ Norr, Henry; Writer, Chronicle Staff (2002-11-16). "New life for old PCs / Nonprofit group collects donated computers to aid students in developing nations". SFGate. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "About Us". World Computer Exchange. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  15. ^ "Boston Chapter". World Computer Exchange. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "Boston Cares". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  18. ^ "Volunteer Form". World Computer Exchange. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  19. ^ "Electronics recycling". MNN - Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "VMware Foundation - Employees Give Back - The World Computer Exchange". VMware Careers. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  23. ^ "Chicago Chapter". World Computer Exchange. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "technology | website". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  26. ^ Infatuated_w_culture (2009-04-23). "Where in the world is Claire?: You obviously know the value of a computer". Where in the world is Claire?. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  27. ^ Stoermer, Danielle (2011-08-18). "Agent Stoermer in Senegal: Expanding students' worlds with books and computers". Agent Stoermer in Senegal. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  28. ^ University of the People#World Computer Exchange
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "CHILDREN CARE DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION: History". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  32. ^ "World Computer Exchange Provides Computers, Training to Mexican Children | San Miguel de Allende | Atención San Miguel". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  33. ^ "Chicago Group Sending 700 Computers To Kids In Latin America". 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  34. ^
  35. ^ "4 Girls". World Computer Exchange. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Bryan Barton | Volunteer Forever | Volunteer Abroad Fundraising & Program Reviews". Retrieved 2019-04-02.
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  41. ^
  42. ^