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Second-hand laptop collecting dust? Donate it!

Learning how to use a computer to create reports and spreadsheets will one day land 18-year-old Kunthea the job interview of a lifetime. When the hotel manager asks about her computer skills, Kunthea plans to talk about the work she’s done using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access.

In Cambodia, computer skills put bright students like Kunthea on the fast track to competitive jobs in the hospitality industry.

Kunthea attends computer classes five times a week. But outside of the classroom, it can be tough to log the kind of computer time she needs to make sure the lessons stick. A used laptop that’s still in good working condition would change everything for Kunthea, so I’m sending her mine.

For the past two years, my old Apple PowerBook G4 has been collecting dust in a box under my bed. I moved it a few times, thinking each time that I would eventually find someone who could use it. It has little to offer beyond Microsoft Word, but it turns out that’s exactly what an EGBOK Mission student needs.

Laptop Drive

EGBOK Mission is launching a new project that aims to put used or new laptops in the hands of dozens of Cambodian students. Our bet is there are more PCs out there just waiting for a second chance. If you own one of them, consider donating it to EGBOK Mission.

Three more EGBOK students named Veasna, Sros and Saona are also taking classes to learn computer basics. They study at the Paul Dubrule School of Hotel and Tourism in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The program at Paul Dubrule requires them to write reports and create presentations, but resources are limited outside of class. Many of their classmates come from more substantial means. They have better access to technology, which can make it tough to compete.

“Even if all three of them had one laptop to share, it would make a huge difference in their performance,” says Annie Place, an EGBOK Mission volunteer who teaches students the skills they need to attend the country’s best hospitality schools.

How to Donate Your Used Laptop

If you have a second-hand or new laptop you would like to donate, send us a note at In the subject field, fill in “Your name, your city”.

Once we receive your e-mail, you will receive a reply with additional instructions about laptop collection.

A Few Details to Consider Before Donating

+ Laptop should be in good working order. It doesn’t need to be fast, but it should have a working keyboard and screen, no viruses, and no internal damage. Both PC and Mac operating systems will work well.

+ Protect your personal information. Please erase your hard drive. Any documents, photos or music need to be deleted. Microsoft Office programs are useful — please don’t delete them. Gizmodo offers a helpful post on properly erasing your hard drive for good.

+ Please provide the laptop’s power cord. (Note: We are able to accept laptops with depleted batteries, even if the computer needs to be plugged into the wall to work.)

+ Please provide any software that came with the computer, a backup disc, etc.

+ The ability to connect to the Internet is certainly a plus, but it’s not essential.

Note about other types of electronics: At the moment, we are focusing our efforts specifically on collecting laptop computers. We will not be collecting digital cameras, desktop computers or any other electronic device at this time. But these five charities would certainly appreciate them.

Thank you in advance for your interest in our latest effort to bring technology to students who will use it to develop the skills they need to be successful.

– David Klatt

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