Computer call brings IT home to needy

AN EAST Worthing man's dream of sending computers to needy schools in Ghana is finally coming true - thanks to a story in the Herald.

Jibreal Hagan, 51, of Brougham Road, made the appeal for PCs, or money to help with shipping costs and training IT staff, in June.

Since then several families, schools and local businesses have donated old and disused computers and related equipment. Last month, gas supplier company BOC Edwards, for whom Jibreal works, agreed to donate 10,000 which matches Jibreal's own investment so far, to pay for shipping and training.

He said: "It's my dream that school children in Ghana will eventually enjoy the same standard of IT teaching and facilities my children do here. Hopefully, now this project is getting off the ground we can start to get to that stage, but there is still a very long way to go. I welcome anyone wanting to get involved with this crusade."

So far, Jibreal has collected and been pledged almost 400 machines. Donations have come from Lyndhurst First School and Chesswood Middle School, as well as Sussex University and the Citizens Advice Bureau and many others. Jibreal hopes the first batch will be sent later this month, but still needs to find transportation for some legs of the journey.

At the moment he can get the machines to Ghana, but has no means of getting them from his home to Crawley, where they will be shipped from. He is also appealing for anyone with a van or freight company in Ghana to help distribute the machines to the 20 schools he has selected. Before they are sent, Jibreal is keen to point out he wipes the memory from each machine. Then, when in Ghana, he has set up a service and distribution centre, which will train IT technicians and teachers who will help implement and continue the project in the future.

Jibreal, originally from Ghana, moved to Worthing 28 years ago, but makes frequent visits back to his home country. He said: "It isn't right that children are learning without computers in this day. At one school I saw, children were using an abacus made out of bottle tops.Doing this will give them a better education and more prospects in the future."

To get involved in the project, contact Jibreal on 01903 525480 or 07753 262489.