Fifteen inner-city families and organizations were the recipients of refurbished desktop computers from the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre.
Before the pandemic, the Centre – located at the Helen Betty Osborne Building – opened its computer lab (with 17 computer stations) five days a week to provide free internet access and technology support to the inner-city community. But since March 2020, most of the Centre’s programming has been switched temporarily to online learning with supplemental kit deliveries, and the lab has remained closed until it is deemed safe to open its doors.
Remote schooling and work-from-home has increased the need of multiple connecting devices per family. And without the opportunity of safely opening the computer lab, Angeline Nelson, Director of Community Learning and Engagement at Wii Chiiwaakanak, thought it was a good idea to allocate 15 refurbished computers to families.
The computers were from the centre’s computer lab and originally were thought to be disposed. However, in a combined effort between Wii Chiiwaakanak, The Winnipeg Boldness Project and Mother Earth Recycling, it was possible to set up fifteen Windows 7 desktop computers with their respective accessories and donate them to inner-city families and organizations that needed them.
The Winnipeg Boldness Project donated 10 of the computers to families and organizations of their Guide Groups, while Wii Chiiwaakanak centre donated 5 to their most regular clients.
“As one of the larger computer labs in the inner-city we know the impact of being closed to the local community has only added to the challenges families and individuals have been faced with. Thus, finding other ways to provide families and individuals with computers and laptops has been a necessary means of supporting the increased needs placed on them,” says Angeline Nelson of the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre.
The families and organizations who received the computers from The Winnipeg Boldness Project and the clients of Wii Chiiwaakanak centre all welcomed the computers. With growing demand for computers at home, this donation comes at a good time for many families.
“I just want to say thank you for the computer. We didn’t have a computer so it has been nice to be able to access the internet on a bigger screen than our cell phones. Our boys are also learning how to use the computer which is great!” – Parent from The Winnipeg Boldness Project’s Parent Guide Group
“[the computer] helped me write my resume which led to me getting a new job. My kids also used it briefly to access their online schoolwork. My kids now use it to play games.” – Parent from The Winnipeg Boldness Project’s Parent Guide Group
Monitors, keyboards and mouses were purchased at a preferential rate from Mother Earth Recycling, a 100% Indigenously owned and operated social enterprise in Winnipeg’s North End.
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