International Projects

We supply recycled computer equipment and provide technical assistance to progressive organizations throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. We provide grassroots groups with computers and the ability to use e-mail and the Internet.

"In 1988, the University of the Autonomous Region of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua was a wild (and some said unrealizable) dream. Thanks in significant part to your donation of computers, it will become a reality in 1995."
Letter from Tom Hansen, Director of Pastors for Peace, 1995

Here are brief descriptions of our current projects.

Joint Project with National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students
Equipment Donations to Social Change Organizations in the Developing World
Infrastructure Development for new Nicaraguan University

Joint Project with National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students

In 1993, after a 30-year struggle, the poeple of Eritrea finally gained their independence. Since then, this small African nation has embarked on a path of development on their own terms, without sacrificing their hard-won independence in exchange for "aid" from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, or the U.S. government. Their independence should be a model for other nations caught in a cycle of debt and poverty.

Within Eritrea, the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) is playing a key role in the development of Eritrea's youth through education and the promotion of human rights and environmental protection.

We at TecsChange are making a small contribution to this development. In the summer of 1999, we formed a partnership with the Boston branch of NUEYS. Once a week, members of NUEYS-Boston come to TecsChange and participate in a hands-on course in computer repair. They learn valuable skills which they can take back to their homeland. And all computers refurbished in this program are sent to NUEYS headquarters in Eritrea, to be distributed to schools, community centers, and other organizations that serve the nation's youth.

This workshop is held once a week on Tuesday evenings. As usual, we are limited by the number of volunteer tutors that we can recruit. If you are interested in getting involved, please call us at 627-442-4456 or e-mail us at tecschange@tecschange.org.

In November 1999, an article describing the TecsChange-NUEYS partnership appeared in the journal Nonprofits and Technology, a publication of the Philanthropy News Network. Click here to read the article.


Equipment Donations

We gather equipment from local companies, institutions and individuals, refurbish and test it, and donate it to overseas organizations. To date, this has been our most successful project. We have held weekly repair sessions since 1992 and have shipped hundreds of computers to labor and women's groups, cooperatives, health, education, human rights, and environmental organizations in a dozen or so countries, including Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua and South Africa. We try to keep in contact with organizations that receive equipment from us to provide continued support. Sometimes, the donation of a computer leads to a more long-term relationship involving a joint project.

Here is more detail on the computer recycling project, including a list of our most urgently needed parts.

Our first large shipment of computers was sent to El Salvador in March 1993, as part of a material aid caravan organized by Pastors for Peace. TecsChange volunteer Aram Falsafi participated in the caravan, and later wrote an article about the experience, which was published by Impact, the publication of the Boston Computer Society's social impact group. While somewhat dated, the article does describe one type of opportunity that exists for skilled volunteers who want to use their expertise in support of progressive social change in the developing world. Click here to see the article.

We have worked with a number U.S. based organizations in order to deliver our donations. For example:

South African Development Fund originally Fund for a Free South Africa (FreeSa)
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).
Pastors for Peace
Photos of the latest Pastors for Peace caravan sendoff (held in Boston in March,2002)
Chiapas Media Project
Partners in Health

Afrihope International, Inc. (AHII) Boston project gathering computers for Nigeria

NOTE: At this point we are not able to honor unsolicited requests for donations, unless the requesting organization has representatives or supporters in Boston who can come and help with the final testing and packing/shipping of the equipment.

Infrastructure Development for new Nicaraguan University

On November 13, 1999, the latest Pastors for Peace caravan to Central America passed through Boston. It left with dozens of computers destined for URACCAN. To celebarte this event, we held a sendoff party at TecsChange. The featured speaker was Gail Walker, communications coordinator at IFCO (the parent organization of Pastors for Peace).

In the spring of 1995, classes started at the three campuses of URACCAN (University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua), the first university in this economically and culturally marginalized region of the nation. The university provides local residents with the necessary skills to manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner. To help URACCAN do this, TecsChange is providing critical infrastructure, including computers, a community radio station and skills training.

In 1995, TecsChange provided a low-power FM transmitter to serve as a campus radio station. A TecsChange volunteer travelled to Bluefields to help with the installation of the transmitter and setup of computers on campus. To find out more about URACCAN, check out the article on this project that appeared in the spring 1995 issue of The Reporter on Latin American and the Carribean.

URACCAN has also started publishing an URACCAN Update in order to keep its supporters informed. Below you will find the latest issues.

Special issue #4 on the effets of hurricane Mitch, November 18, 1998 (in Spanish).
Special issue #3 on the effets of hurricane Mitch, November 10, 1998
(in Spanish).
Special issue #2 on the effets of hurricane Mitch, November 1998
(in Spanish).
Special issue on the effets of hurricane Mitch, November 1998
(in Spanish). We also received this update from Centro de Derechos Humanos, Ciudadanos y Autonsmicos (CEDEHCA), a human rights and cultural rights organization in Bluefields.
July 12, 1998.
June 29, 1998, day of the teacher.
June 11, 1998.
June 2, 1998.
May 4, 1998.
March 18, 1998 - Part I .
March 18, 1998 - Part II .
March 8, 1998.
March 2, 1998.
January 28, 1998.
December 13, 1997.
December 5, 1997.
November 24, 1997.
November 12, 1997.
November 5, 1997.
October 9, 1997.
October 1, 1997.
May 1997.
March 1997.
January 1997.

Felipe Stuart, the international communications coordinator at URACCAN (and editor of URACCAN Update) also sent us the following paper, titled URACCAN y la Comunicacion Digital. (It is in Spanish.)

*** NEW! ***We recently received a request from the Bluefields campus for networking equipment, especially 10-Base-T hubs and ethernet switches. If your employer has recently upgraded to the faster 100-base-T network, chances are that there is a pile of equipment (including hubs) collecting dust in a closet. They can be put to good use if you can get them donated. And since TecsChange is a tax-exempt organization, all donations are tax-deductible.


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33 Harrison Ave. 5th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 617-963-0262 Skype
e-mail: tecschange@tecschange.org web: http://www.tecschange.org