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Forty Feet of Computers

Lebanon, March 1, 2002

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    Students working on their new computers. Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps Photo:

On March 4, Mercy Corps will pack and ship a 40-foot container of computer systems to Lebanon as part of an ongoing program to increase access to technology for Lebanese youth and students.

The shipment contains approximately 250 each of computers, monitors, mice, and keyboards. Mercy Corps will use these computers in schools and community centers throughout the country. The goal of this program is to help Lebanese students and their communities gain valuable computer skills, as well as access the extensive resources and information available through the Internet.

Mercy Corps' Lebanese computer centers will be used for classes, trainings, and available to students and community members at minimal or no cost. Most of the centers will be located in Lebanese high schools. Lebanese schools, particularly in rural areas, currently have no, or little, access to computers. Mercy Corps' efforts will also support PC-based vocational education and small business development. A goal of this project is to develop sister-school relationships between the Lebanese schools that receive these computers and high school students here in Oregon.

The computers will be packed the morning of Monday, March 4 at Trimac Panel Products, which has donated storage and handling services to Mercy Corps. Panalpina, a freight forwarder in Washington, D.C., is donating the shipping to Lebanon. The Bonneville Power Administration, Multnomah County, Standard Insurance Company, Free Geek, Northwest Education Loan Association, and many generous individual donors donated the computer systems. Mercy Corps and its volunteers have refurbished and rebuilt many of these computers.

Mercy Corps' primary objective in Lebanon is to foster equitable communities and create a vibrant educational environment that includes increased technological opportunities. Technology has immense potential as a social, economic, and community development tool for people in the developing world.

Mercy Corps has many other programs of this type throughout the world and welcomes donations of computers and components. Please contact Matthew Schwartzberg at 503-796-6803 for more information about computer donations.