Used cell phones find new homes

As we all know, the Christmas season has gone and many of us have shiny new toys. For a lot of people, one of these new toys is a cell phone.

  • Jan. 18, 2011 5:00 p.m.

As we all know, the Christmas season has gone and many of us have shiny new toys. For a lot of people, one of these new toys is a cell phone.

Whether it was a gift from your parents, or you just thought you would treat yourself to the new iPhone, there it is: that new cell phone that is a hundred, no, a thousand times better than your old one.

However, now you are faced with a dilemma. What to do with your old phone? Do you just toss it in the trash and let it sit in a landfill for the next 100 years? No one wants to do that, but no one wants to leave it sitting around the house for the next 100 years either. Well, Youth for Change has the solution.

Youth for Change is a small group of about 25 students at Edward Milne Community School with a common goal — to make a difference in the world. These students are looking not only locally, but globally. Right now Youth for Change is working to help a school in Africa called ASOLATE.

ASOLATE, located in Rwanda, teaches youth literacy and trades education. It is a non-profit organization which trains Rwandan youth in employable skills, project management and cooperative organization, as well as raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. ASOLATE is an incredible help for youth in Rwanda allowing them to grow up and support not only themselves, but also their families. Without ASOLATE, many of the students would be struggling just to survive.

EMCS first became involved with ASOLATE when a man named Seleman Nizeyimana, founder of ASOLATE, came to our school two years ago and spoke of the difficulties he faced as a child soldier in Rwanda, and of the difficulties facing their society today. Having this incredible man come and tell his tale convinced the students that, without a doubt, we needed to help.

In order to help, we are collecting old cell phones to be recycled. A Florida company called Shelter Alliance recycles 100 per cent of the cell phones donated. Shelter Alliance contributes free shipping as well as a charitable donation depending on the quality of the phone received. All of these funds will go directly to ASOLATE. With this money ASOLATE will be able to purchase sewing machines for the school, or goats to provide a family with milk, or even solar panels for the school.

If you, like so many others, received a new cell phone for Christmas make sure you don’t throw the old one in the trash. By donating it to Youth for Change at EMCS you will be guaranteed that your phone will be 100 per cent recycled and the money received for your phone will go directly to someone in need in Rwanda. I can’t think of a better use for it.

If you would like to donate your old cell phone, just drop it off in the main office at EMCS between 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from now until the end of February. If you would like to find out more information about ASOLATE, just visit www.asolate.org and you will find out everything you need to know.

Imagine the difference you can make by donating one small phone!

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