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Blancco and The Turing Trust collaborate to provide thousands of devices for schools in Africa

Blancco

Blancco Technology Group has announced it is working with The Turing Trust, a UK charity that provides IT resources and training to schools in sub-Saharan Africa. Blancco will support the initiative with free licenses of its drive eraser software. This enables the charity to securely refurbish donated IT equipment (desktops, laptops, smart phones, and tablets) that is given to schools across Africa to improve children’s access to computer technology and digital skills training. To date, Blancco has securely erased over 2,500 donated devices in collaboration with the charity.

The Turing Trust, which launched in 2015, operates its biggest project in Malawi where it works with 160 schools. When work began on that project in 2016, just 3% of Malawian schools had access to an IT lab. Now, 81% of schools in the country have access to devices that support the IT curriculum primarily for children in secondary education. Outside of Malawi, the trust has also delivered containers of computers to children in Liberia, South Sudan, Kenya, Ghana and The Gambia. The Turing Trust also provides support for Ukrainian refugees in the UK with devices to allow them to continue participating virtually in Ukraine’s education programme.

Donations of Blancco’s software will be instrumental in accelerating the project’s capabilities to refurbish donated devices at speed and scale. The secure erasure process guarantees the complete removal of data from a data bearing asset, readying it for reuse. The collaboration between Blancco and The Turing Trust is a shining example of how organisations can work together to promote the circular economy, facilitating the reuse of devices that would otherwise be prematurely destroyed and contribute to rising levels of e-waste. The Turing Trust reports that in 2020 it refurbished 45 tonnes of PCs equivalent to 954 tonnes in carbon savings. The environmental impact of the project also offset the embodied energy required to power 233 UK homes for a year.

Adam Moloney, CFO, Blancco, said, “Each year organisations unnecessarily physically destroy IT equipment and devices that could be reused, resold or recycled to engage with the circular economy following appropriate data sanitisation best practices,” “At a time when there is a call for greater environmental stewardship, current attitudes towards device management are simply unsustainable. We’re very proud to be working with The Turing Trust to address issues of social and digital inclusion among school children in Africa. We firmly believe that a student’s education and development should not be impaired by their access to technology. Initiatives like this ensure we can collectively reduce the impact on our planet and put devices in the hands of those communities that need them most while following security best practices.”

From The Turing Trust’s Edinburgh workshop, volunteers work on the refurbishment of donated devices, providing them with valuable IT training opportunities. Volunteers are trained on how to use the Blancco software to securely erase residual data on every asset. James Turing, CEO of the charity, says that this has offered important experience for volunteers who have then gone on to pursue careers in IT.

James Turing, CEO, The Turing Trust, said, “Our vision is to ensure everyone in the world gets equal opportunities to learn how to use a computer,” “By focusing our efforts in Malawi, we have shown just how much progress can be made with support from organisations and communities looking to donate their devices and give them a new lease of life. We have a wide variety of donors and partners that support our cause. We’re incredibly pleased to be partnering with Blancco, strengthening the security of our processes that we hope encourages more organisations to come forward with donations.”

The Turing Trust continues to expand its operations and receives donations from organisations worldwide. It aims to align its objectives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve education and reduce inequality whilst also tackling climate change.

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