Italy – "PC4U": a solidarity chain in Milan

13 July 2020

(ANS - Milan) - Do you have a working computer or tablet that you no longer use? You can donate them to those who need such devices, perhaps for distance learning. On the initiative of four 18-year-olds, including two students from the Salesian schools in Milan, a solidarity chain was created, operating thanks to a special portal:

The team is made up of Matteo Mainetti, student of the "Leone XIII" institute, who deals with the project's logistical aspect; Emanuele Sacco who works on the programming of the site and Pietro Cappellini, who takes care of the graphics and design, both students of the Salesians in Milan; and Jacopo Rangone, who is dedicated to the administrative part and studies in England.

The idea was born during the general lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when it was understood that many students could not follow the lessons remotely because they did not have a PC or a tablet at home. The four friends began to collect devices from those who donated them spontaneously.

The first to take part in the initiative was a company manager who, by consigning his tablet, encouraged the initiative because "if we don't help each other, no one else will."

How can you participate? Through the online platform, with a few clicks, you have the opportunity to donate your unused, but functioning devices, or to request to receive one, if necessary. The initiative, which is totally free, is also aimed at companies that have obsolete devices that they can give away.

Each device is collected at the donor's home, reformatted by an expert in the sector, sanitized and, before it begins its new life, is loaded with a message from the donor to the recipient. "In the end, we are not donating an instrument, but a door to knowledge," says Pietro.

The numbers of those who are hungry for technology, even in Lombardy, remain high. "14% of students do not have a computer: this figure translates into approximately 2,600 children who have not been able to 'go to school' in recent months," comments Emanuele.

He then adds: “A recent ISTAT survey says that 33.8% of Italian families do not have a PC or tablet at home, and that 57% of the kids must share only one computer in the family. A problem that goes beyond the need highlighted by the period of Covid-19, because the school will be increasingly digital and we students will increasingly need technological supports to be able to study."

The solidarity project conceived and developed by young people has also received the full support of Microsoft, with which the boys collaborate to offer an additional activation service for "Office A1", that is, the edition of Office dedicated entirely to schools.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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