In a world dominated by political and entertainment headlines like, “Is Donald Trump’s hair real?” and “Did Katy Perry change her outfit?” it’s common to forget about the sustainable practices and good forces at work trying to make a tangible difference. There are billions of people starving, without food, shelter, and access to basic resources needed to climb out of the poverty cycle.
When we think of inequality, we automatically think of words like wealth, money, food, and shelter. We’ve seen homeless individuals in the subways, on the streets, and traveling along roads to find food, a roof over their heads, and any promise of work so they can get back on track. But, what we commonly don’t also consider in addition to these immediate assumptions is their access to the Internet and digital inclusion today.
What is Digital Inclusion?
Digital Inclusion references the ability for an individual to have supported, concrete access to the digital world today. Whether it be through a mobile device, laptop, tablet, or PC, one of these expensive electronic items are needed, plus Internet/WiFi, to join the digital conversation dominating what’s discussed and invented.
Most homeless individuals, elderly, and families operating at the lowest levels of the socioeconomic ladder may barely have food for a single meal a day, let alone access to a new iPhone. The result? They have no possible way of ever creating a resume, applying to most jobs, and researching information that could make or break their dire situation.
Basically, by handing homeless people a dollar bill or food that may help them in the interim, but it’s going to do nothing for them on a large-scale if they don’t have a way to join our society today. If you’re reading this article, you obviously have a concrete connection to the Internet, and a way to inform yourself of the latest trends, news topics, and developments in our world. Imagine if you didn’t have that – if you had nothing but a shirt on your back and a dream for something more.
SocialBox.Biz is a nonprofit technology-based startup operating out of London on a mission to provide digital inclusion to all of the UK’s homeless and elderly. More than 1 million people every year remain in their country’s poverty cycle because they simply don’t have the digital means to move past it. It has recognized this detrimental cycle doomed to repeat itself, and have vowed to do something revolutionary so they make a difference.
The London-based entity calls on all businesses and established corporations to host laptop donation bins on their property sites for recycled and outdated computers at their operations that are more times than not thrown out or sent to landfills. Additionally, these bin hosts can also advertise their donation site, and encourage everyday individuals in the surrounding communities to bring their outdated electronics and drop it in their recycling bins.
The next step is the most eye opening, and one that startup technology companies worldwide should consider for making a greater good. SocialBox.Biz comes in, collects the donated disused but still working and useful items in laptop donation bin, and takes care of wiping data/information clean off of the items. They arrange cleaning of them, preparing them for distribution, and transport the newly revamped laptops to homeless and elderly in accommodation services in the UK. By partnering with other local charity entities, they host “Laptop Handovers” and bring their good-as-new products to those in extreme need.
As a result, individuals have a chance to actually apply to a job in the UK again. Not many businesses allow paper-submissions anymore – especially healthcare industries if an individual want special media coverage.
Using technology for the greater good
Technology has the potential to revolutionize our entire world. Access to it is becoming increasingly important, and SocialBox.Biz recognizes the bare necessity of having a connection to the Internet today. By using technology, they are able to redistribute old technology into accepting and grateful hands that would have otherwise been left it the dust.
The London startup is asking everyone to consider what kind of technological donation they can incorporate into their operation, and how they can make a difference using their technology, to donate technology to those in need.
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