computer aid

There’s no getting away from it. In the West, we live in a throwaway culture. Take a piece of equipment to a computer repair shop and you may be told that is is cheaper to get a new one.

Every day mountains of computing equipment, printers, telephones etc. are discarded. Many of these are in perfect working order, but just don’t conform to the latest requirements of modern business, or family.

Roy Charles who runs a London IT company told us that the businesses he works with upgrade their equipment, on average, every 18 – 24 months. Much of that finds a home, but much is taken away and is destined for landfill or breaking down for reclamation of valuable components.

Fortunately there is an alternative for unloved computer equipment.

Computer Aid is a charity with offices in London and South Africa which helps get working ICT gear in the hands of groups and individuals who otherwise would be cut-off from the online world. From schools in poverty stricken areas, to refugee camps, they are enabling people to be connected and make progress, where their immediate circumstances are extremely challenging.

Since 1998 they have brought access to digital technology to over 1million children and adults. As they say on their website,

“Today, Computer Aid is one of the leading ICT for development – ICT4D – organization, providing low cost solutions using ICT to tackle poverty and to overcome disadvantage, working closely with local communities. Integral to our approach is providing the training so desperately needed; not just computer competency but ensuring that ICT is integrated into curriculums that seek to enhance life chances and provide equal opportunity to those otherwise disadvantaged.

“The challenge is large but our ambitions is huge: the past 17 years we have witnessed how ICT4D can lift inequality by providing practical and empowering solutions to communities and we need your help to reduce further the digital divide and give a chance to more people to improve their lives.”

If you work in a company who regularly renews their ICT equipment, it is worth investigating this innovative charity. They also accept donations from individuals. If you do not have any equipment then you can still support their work by being a regular sponsor, contributing financially to help them reach their goals.

As equipment changes and the demands of staying connected require increasing power and storage capacity, it is inevitable that gear has to be renewed. Our preference is that it should be done with the minimum use of resources.

Where possible, look to upgrade, rather than replace, existing equipment. That having beeen said, the work that is being some by groups like these does at least make a positive contribution, and mitigates the negatives of disposing of equipment that is still in fine working condition.

volunteering in Malawi

Charities are known for doing positive work to benefit all types of people. These provide voluntary help to those in need. The aid might come in many different forms, including raising money. There are numerous registered charities operating all over the globe. The story of the Marys Meals charity begins in 1992 in Dalmally, Scotland. Originally known as the Scottish International Relief or SIR, the registered charity changed its name to Marys Meals in 2002.

marys meals logoThe slogan for the organisation: a simple solution to world hunger. Since it was founded, the mission has been to set up school feeding plans in the poorest communities of the world. It has fed many children.

The first feeding operating for the group was 200 children located in Malawi. Nowadays, the campaign is in operating worldwide and provides free school meals to children in hundreds of schools. It is estimated that the group feeds more than one million children every single day.

While the organization does not have any religious ties, it was named after the Virgin Mary. SIR was formed during the Balkan conflict, circa 1992. Brothers Fergus and Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow decided to organize a local group to help provide people with food and blankets. They packed their car with all the supplies they needed and delivered the cargo to Medjugorje.

Upon returning to their homeland, the young men had expected to go back to their daily work as fish farmers. This changed when they saw that, while they were gone, donations were being sent to the home of their parents. So much stuff had been sent that it had filled the shed.

Magnus took off a gap year in order to deliver the aid and never returned to his old line of work. The donations did not stop either. Magnus eventually decided to pursue these efforts on a full-time basis and registered the project as a charity, giving it the name Scottish International Relief. By 2002, The Marys Meals school project was worth within a small group of primary schools in Chilomoni, Chipini and various other places in Malawi. It was funded and operated by SIR. Marys Meals is now most famous for charity projects in Malawi.

The idea for this type of food charity came from a business person named Tony Smith. Magnus went on a visit to Chipini with Smith and Gay Russell, a lady from Malawi who was a prominent figure in famine relief efforts. This was when the school feeding project was first organised. By May 2012, the SIR name was officially changed to Marys Meals in order to reflect the school feeding component, which has become the main focus.

magnus macfarlane-brown

CEO and founder of the company, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, was born in the 1960s and raised in a Catholic home. He went to university to study history before taking on work as a salmon farmer. After a visit to Medjugorje, Magnus became more religious and grew closer to this Catholic faith. As the main operator of this charity, his ideas and visions play a major role in the efforts of the organisation. He has received numerous awards for his work, including being twice awarded the Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Club.

This organisation has other important projects, including Backpack Appeal. The Backpack Project encourages kids in schools to donate old backpacks filled with essential school materials, such as pencils and notebooks. These might also be stocked with t-shirts and flip-flops. The packs are then shipped off to children living in countries such as Malawi, Uganda, and Liberia, where resources and supplies are limited. Other notable work done by the organisation includes Sponsor a School and Iona House.

While this charity is considered international, it is still primarily based in the United Kingdom, where the largest group of supporters is in place. There are many UK groups that hold events and meetings for this cause.

There are also businesses and parishes that have adopted this charity into different areas. In fact, Marys Meals even has charity shops around the UK. The charity has been striving to extend support beyond the UK by setting up bases in other countries. These bases are designed to grow awareness and raise money.

The organisation has had a significant impact on the lives of children and families around the world. Its mission is to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. Most of their work is done in poverty-stricken areas. They give children food and school supplies, as well as aid when it comes to disasters and other recovery efforts. Marys Meals continues to grow. Anyone interested in contributing to the organisation should visit their website to learn about how they can contribute to the causes.

volunteering in Malawi

The term gap year, which might also be called a sabbatical year, is used to describe the period after finishing school and before starting university or college. It might also be used to refer to the time spent before going to graduate school after earning a bachelor degree as an undergraduate. This is a time when most people focus their efforts on advanced educational courses, non-academic studies, volunteer work, sports, internships, learning a trade, art studies and more. Using your gap year for positive change in the world is recommended and done by many.


There are numerous ways to go about making positive changes in the world. Some people might take this time off school and work to dedicate to other passions in their lives. Often time this includes volunteer work, travel, getting involved with the community and doing other stuff that benefits more than themselves. My personal experience with this was when I spent time as a volunteer in Malawi, and I know how rewarding it is, not only for the local communities, but also for my own personal development. Gap years are often seen as a time for students to learn responsibility and become more independent, which can benefit them during their college years.

Most people strive to make this time productive. They may use it as an opportunity to help others while also sharpening their skills, learning new things and gaining experiences. This may be different for every person. In fact, the year can be comprised of whatever a person wants.

Volunteering is a common way that people spend this time. It is a way to be productive and promote positive changes within the world. People may do this close to home. While a lot of people enjoy traveling to other countries to offer help, there is a lot that can be done within the local or state community, as well as the home country of the student. This type of work is rewarding and can show the commitment, compassion and dedication a person has. Furthermore, it is an opportunity for them to gain contacts, experience and maybe even get their foot in the door in a particularly industry or workforce.

People can also do volunteer work abroad. People living in America may find that there is a greater need for their assistance in other, less-developed countries. They might feel as though their impact is more significant in another country. This also gives them the opportunity to visit or experience a new place and what it has to offer. Being well-traveled is a great trait for a person to have. Furthermore, the experience of traveling alone or with others can mature an individual and provide them with many take-away lessons.

Not all work has to be done for free. People can intern and get jobs to gain more experience. This type of work can still initiate positive change in the world, depending on the type of duties one has. In any case, people can find ways that their involvement can help others. It is recommended that people spend this time stepping out of their comfort zone. Trying new and different thing is one way that people can grow as people. The knowledge and experience one gains can be used to help others as well.

Learning a new skill and putting it to use is another way to initiate positive change and development during this time off. Some might choose to learn something that applies to a future goal or endeavor. Others might take this as an opportunity to find out how to do something they have always been passionate about. Regardless, people should challenge themselves to find one or more ways that they can use a new skill to promote something positive.

This year is meant to help an individual prepare for what is to come or enjoy time to explore various avenues. While most people focus entirely on themselves and what they want to do, there are numerous ways that people can improve themselves and also help others. People looking to be productive during their sabbatical time should consider how everything that they can do may be used to help another person. This is one small step that can make a big difference.

Positive change in the world comes in many forms. All types of people dedicate their lives and free time to do this. To be successful, a person has to feel self-motivated and passionate about the change they hope to bring.

A lot can be done in the course of a year. Furthermore, people may find that the work they have done during the gap year is so rewarding that they want to continue it. Many times this period is when people learn the most about who they are and what they want to do with their lives.

socially responsible business

Social responsibility is a term that is often used in the business world. It represents the belief that a company should recognize and embrace its social responsibilities and not just maximizing its profit. Social responsibility for business means creating businesses that have a positive relationship with their local community and society in general. This is believed to have numerous benefits and is becoming more of a priority for businesses in the modern day who want to be successful.


Nowadays, businesses can thrive solely on creating a good shopping experience and top product or services. Much more needs to be done, especially if consumers are expected to come back. Most businesses understand that they have a responsibility to be environmentally and socially conscious. This is why they are choosing to be more involved in the communities in which they operate. Doing these things can help companies improve their reputation and business.

These efforts can be applied in a number of different ways. Businesses leaders are encouraged to consider the best ways to get involved based on their products, services, and community. Being involved in movements that impact the greater society and can promote positive change should be a priority for all, including businesses. It is best if businesses are genuine in their efforts, as it can be easier to spot phony acts of kindness. Exploiting customers or losing their trust does not good in the short- or long-term. True commitment to a cause or group of people is worth it.

There are a few steps that business can take to ensure that they are effective when it comes to keeping up with their social responsibility. It is important to set goals. They should know what they want to achieve. This includes determining which cause or causes to align with.

So many different causes and people require help and support, including supporting homeless, people with disabilities or illnesses, children, senior citizens or the environment. It is recommended that businesses choose a cause that is relative to their products or services, or causes they feel passionate about. Selecting the right cause can make the work more enjoyable and rewarding.

Businesses who choose do this do not have a blueprint to follow. Every situation will different. The type and amount of involvement will range. Nonetheless, it is encouraged that businesses strive to be more involved in social issues. Their main objective is often on making money and bringing in new consumers in any way possible. Through social involvement, they are more likely to bring in potential customers while also supporting the community that has helped keep their business in operation.

Many businesses will partner up with an organization or non-profit that fits their cause and work with them on various projects that can benefit the community. This might include a special program, product, service or some other thing that involves their employees and customers. These types of projects can be extremely successful and last for a long time. There is no limit to the success that can come of these partnerships or businesses getting involved on a social level.

This responsibility can help businesses build or sustain a healthy and positive relationship with their consumers. In doing this, they are likely to strengthen their overall performance. Social responsibility can help with interaction between consumers and businesses. It is also a positive initiative that can benefit the environment, especially among green companies who strive to implement business models that are more socially conscious.

looking after things

Many companies have chosen to make this a major part of their business plan. In fact, there are even investors that consider the social responsibility of a company at part of its criteria. Not all believe that this responsibility is effective necessary. It can be done in so many different ways, and the results will vary. Some time may be necessary before the results of these efforts will be noticeable. Still, most businesses who choose do to this have a sincere desire to be involved and are not doing it solely for the benefit to their sales or reputation.

There are plenty of resources available to those interested in implementing this. Businesses can make use of the Internet to do research on their community and important causes to their consumers. They can also use this as a place to find out about organizations or non-profit groups to partner with. There are numerous websites that offer tips and information for those businesses that are interested in being involved in this way.


A responsibility is a role or action that an individual who belongs to a certain group or setting of people is expected to do by other members of the other people of the same group. It may be imposed or occur naturally by default. Such responsibilities are those that individuals are expected to do without supervision. Those who fail to perform such responsibilities are deemed seen to be unusual, irresponsible, uncivilized and at times abnormal. Social responsibilities are those obligations that individuals have to the society at large.

They do exist to enhance good correlation between various aspects of the society. These social responsibilities exist due to the fact that actions of an individual can affect the welfare of all the other individuals as well as other aspects of the society. This therefore calls for responsibility to enhance a balance among all these factors. Social responsibilities exist in many parts of the society including institutions, communities, businesses and organisations.

Participating in solving problems affecting a societal setting is one major social responsibility. This is mostly applicable in a community, where common problems do occur, requiring the input of every member of the community. Development programs are common in communities and participation of members is the only way to accomplish such developments. Examples of such programs include cleaning of the streets, maintenance of drainage systems and road repairs.

These are some of the social responsibilities in a community setting. Showing concern to other members of the society who are disadvantage is a huge social responsibility. This includes providing food and other necessities to the orphans and the elderly, provision of amenities like wheel chairs and disability friendly equipment. Doing this helps to bridge the gap between the highly regarded persons and those regarded as disadvantaged.

Businesses, organisations and factories should also be involved in social responsibilities. They should at times carry out non-profit making activities for the sake of the community around them. Factories which emit waste in the course of production should dispose the waste responsibly to protect the surrounding community from its effects. Factories should also treat and reuse water to reduce wastage of water which is proving to be a very rare commodity with time Organisations should be involved in research and come up with ideas that benefit the society. An example is the high technology strategies that companies come with to improve security in the society. This is one highly regarded social responsibility exercised by companies. If every individual in the society is involved in social responsibilities, the quality of life for all would improve greatly.