Former unaccompanied Bosnian child refugee and founder of SocialBox.Biz Peter Paduh calls on UK businesses and organisations to donate their old and unwanted equipment during Refugee Week 19th – 25th of June. SocialBox.Biz is an innovative UK-based tech focussed social enterprise that takes unwanted computers and associated technology to repurpose them for those in need.
Refugee Week is a week-long celebration of refugees’ contributions, creativity, resilience and courage. The 25th-anniversary theme is compassion and what it looks like in action. This has been central to SocialBox.Biz’s mission to improve the lives of refugees by providing them with access to upgraded laptops with open source software.
By donating old and unused devices on an ongoing basis , companies and organisations solve their impact problems and help bridge the digital divide and provide access to technology and communication to those who most need it. SocialBox.Biz has been providing rehomed laptops and other tech devices to organisations and individuals working with refugees, homeless people, and older people who cannot afford computers since 2014.
SocialBox.Biz Social Impact spokesperson, Carolyn Williams said: “We are the only Community Interest Company re-homing old but usable tech from companies, universities, and other large organisations and placing them in the hands of the disadvantaged in local UK communities in this way. We provide on-site data removal service and load the technology with open-source software, solving common problems for IT teams and social impact problems for our clients. We’ve done a lot, but we will do a lot more with the help of more partners.”
SocialBoxBiz’s founder and Chairman, Peter Paduh, said: “My life changed when I was donated an old computer to support my education and transition into British society.
“A simple laptop opened up a whole new world for me, one where I could integrate into society by applying for jobs, and researching people and places to help me reach my goals.
“Without a laptop, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I’ve done, and as we mark Refugee Week, it’s important to remember that refugees are people just like us who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution. By donating usable laptops and other tech, you can help provide a lifeline for refugees and other disadvantaged people who are trying to rebuild their lives.”
Purpose-driven UK communications agency Ethical Team is one such company that has provided desktop computers, monitors and a printer to SocialBoxBiz. Iain Patton, Managing Director and Founder, said: “As a business, we try and ‘walk the talk’, and recycling isn’t always the best option.
“Much equipment can be repurposed, and I am sure if more companies and organisations were aware of SocialBox.Biz, they would support this initiative. If UK plc is to reduce its considerable carbon footprint, it needs to produce far less electrical waste. British businesses are harbouring a vast amount of computers, screens, phones, printers, scanners, photocopiers that could all help the disadvantaged people.”
To date SocialBox.Biz has repurposed 1000’s of machines and hopes to reach up to 1000 per month in the near future. Reuse is better than recycled as it produces social impact and reduces scope 3 emissions. and where possible should be prioritised before recycling and disposal by donating to local re-use organisations.