Multicultural News

Laptop, tablet donations help create lab at Camp Atterbury

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Improving technology access is part of the latest fundraising efforts for Afghan refugees at Camp Atterbury.

Black Data Processing Associates is helping lead the charge by collecting used laptops, tablets and other electronics.

The plan is to take the donated items and create an e-learning library space for the kids and adults.

The electronic devices could help close the technological gap for kids at Camp Atterbury. Roughly 3,000 of the refugees at the camp are under 18 years old, and many have had limited or no access to technology in their home country of Afghanistan.

“We want to provide them not only the technology but a dream,” Rupal Thanawala of Black Data Processing Associates said. “We want to empower them such that they know that it’s possible; you can do it.”

The organization has had the data wiped on the electronics they are collecting to create an electronic lab space at Camp Atterbury.

“Use this facility more like a library set up where kids can come there and use some time to learn. Even small kids can come to play their video games,” Thanawala said. “And some of the adults can take some classes there because we already have some adults who are applying for jobs.”

Casted is a software company lending its space as a collection site. Co-founder Lindsay Tjepkema says getting on board was a no-brainer.

“Technology is a connector. It connects us with the rest of the world and it’s so imperative that they have devices so that they are connected to education, to information, to each other.”

Donations are being accepted at Casted’s office, located at 1032 E. Washington St. Suite B, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 7.

Organizers say this lab will further kids access to education. It’s a big deal. For the girls, had they stayed in Afghanistan their access to education would have been nonexistent of minimal.

“Technology is part of the fabric of our lives,” Tjepkema said.

This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the name of Casted co-founder Lindsay Tjepkema.


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