WeCare NPC

GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT,
GOOD FOR YOU AND
GOOD FOR THE FUTURE OF AFRICA

Africa logo

INTRODUCING WeCare

“Don’t just go for safe projects. Take on the really tough problems.” - WARREN BUFFET

That is what WeCare is about: truly tough projects that make a tangible difference to the lives of millions of people in Africa who, without access to the Digital Revolution, are missing the information age. The average African has little chance of becoming a productive world citizen; they are being left behind in a digitally-challenged world.


The world’s largest continent has the least access to technology, compelling its population into a downward spiral while the rest of the world moves forward.


Africa digital devide graphic

WeCare focuses its efforts on select issues that it believes can positively influence the digital backlog in Africa.




The WeCare focus issues are:


SUPPLYING AND MAINTAINING

Supplying and maintaining fully accredited computer technology to students in African schools in sufficient volumes to substantially enhance their IT literacy.

INTERNET ACCESS

Providing students and adults with Internet access via the technology WeCare supplies.

DIRECT JOB CREATION

Direct job creation via support centres, including supporting the new entrepreneurs.

FURTHER EMPLOYMENT

Ensuring an environmentally-friendly and financially-viable take-back solution for all the IT equipment once the products reach end-of-life, creating further employment.

ABOUT WeCare

WeCare is an non-profit company established in 2013 to develop innovative solutions for African computer literacy and e-waste problems on a scale that will make a major difference to the IT literacy of the African population. To make any real impact on the digital backlog in Africa, millions of computers need to be installed. The scale of the programme, the planned sustainability as well as the take-back of end-of-life equipment is what makes the WeCare programme innovative and unique in the world.


WeCare is currently based in Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The company consists of two operational sites and has a close working relationship with Sims Recycling Solutions (Sims RSA). Sims is the world’s largest electronic recycler.


The WeCare project is designed to deliver innovative IT and e-waste solutions in Africa based on a non-profit funding model from governments, private industry and international funding aid. The model is not merely philanthropic but is designed to be sustainable over the long term with clear, measurable deliverables.

SCHOOLS FOR AFRICA

WeCare has adopted a two-pronged implementation approach: schools and support containers.

The schools concept addresses the chronic need for computers in schools, which has reached crisis proportions in Africa. The ratio of students to computers is around 200:1; holding African school leavers back in a digitally-challenged world.


The WeCare project aims not only to install significant volumes of PCs into schools, but to provide a sustainable solution by supporting the PCs throughout their lifespan. Although many philanthropic projects donate PCs to African schools, most of these efforts are ineffectual as the volumes supplied are too low and a lack of IT support results in the PCs being underutilised. Ironically, this is most prevalent in the rural areas where the need is greatest


WeCare SCHOOLS


WeCare has developed the following process in conjunction with the local education departments:

* A cluster of schools located in a 10km to 20km radius is identified for rollout with the full co-operation of the education department and the local community. A budget is set and the required funding route is identified, typically either through a joint effort between WeCare and the local education department, or with government assistance.


* Each cluster consists of 10 to 12 schools, and any number of clusters can be accommodated (one of the larger WeCare projects comprises 120 clusters). Each school receives:

1 - 40 to 70 PCs (depending on the size of the school)

2 - Two servers

3 - Local area network (LAN)

4 - Printer (networked)

5 - Internet access (if possible in the area)

6 - Full support and maintenance plan


* Support container staff are identified with the assistance of the local municipality and community. The staff are trained to install, support and maintain the PCs at the schools. (See Support Containers)


* The site is inspected and prepped by qualified WeCare staff for electricity supply, security and installation. Any problems are corrected before installation begins. The preparation phase is funded out of the initial budget.


* The PCs are installed, and teachers are trained. Support and maintenance is supplied by the local support container staff. The cost of the support is supplied by WeCare out of funds generated in WeCare. (See WeCare Funding Model)


Costs are contained by supplying refurbished PCs from various sources, including Sims locally and internationally. PCs are also sourced directly from companies as part of their CSR programmes. The PCs are supplied with Microsoft Windows 7 and are legally registered with Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Citizenship Licence programme. Each PC is supplied with a three-month warrantee and a three-year support plan, thus ensuring minimum downtime.


Costs are contained by supplying refurbished PCs from various sources, including Sims locally and internationally. PCs are also sourced directly from companies as part of their CSR programmes. The PCs are supplied with Microsoft Windows 7 and are legally registered with Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Citizenship Licence programme. Each PC is supplied with a three-month warrantee and a three-year support plan, thus ensuring minimum downtime.


The increase of obsolete electronics over time has been taken into account, and will be negated by the support containers which, as part of their business model, buy back and process e-waste (see support containers).


As a registered NPC, WeCare is able to supply the required tax certificates to allow companies to claim the funding back as donation tax.

SUPPORT CONTAINERS

WeCare has adopted a two-pronged implementation approach: schools and support containers.

The Support Containers project is a deliverable concept that is linked to the schools rollout programme. The containers are customised 20-foot sea containers that have the multifunctional roles of workshop, sales outlet, support outlet and training facility. Each container is owner-run by a team of three people who are trained by WeCare in all facets of the container business. The WeCare schools need accessible support to be successful, and the containers’ primary objective is therefore to meet this requirement.


The containers need to be self-funding, income-generating and profitable from the outset. After the initial CSR/government funding to assist with the start-up, the containers are sustainable over the long term, ensuring the schools receive the support they need.


WeCare Containers


The support provided to the schools includes:

* PC repair and board-level swap out.

* Software support, reinstalling the operating system, fixing passwords and network connectivity.

* Assisting teachers with running the school computer centre.


Supporting the schools alone would not ensure the financial viability of the containers. This is achieved by adding additional income-generating modules to the containers’ business model, such as:

* Selling refurbished PCs and cell phones to the local population. In rural areas the containers are typically the only sales outlet for 100 kilometres.

* Repairing PCs and cell phones (part and module swap out level only, not board-level repair).

* Buying scrap and obsolete electronics (e-waste); the e-waste is also disassembled and sorted at the container site for easy transport.

* Selling airtime.

* Running an Internet café.

* Repair and support of solar geysers and electricity meters in the area.

* Computer training centre and a printing service.


The container technicians undergo training on all these services at KwaZulu-Natal University, while also receiving hands-on and management training at the WeCare site. In addition, the WeCare team supports the containers and provides follow-up supervision. Typically, the containers are profitable and self-funding within the first three months of operation.


The containers are paid for out of the WeCare schools funding model. The premium functional ratio for a WeCare cell is 10 schools to one support container.


The containers will form part of the national e-waste collection model, in which all e-waste is purchased from the WeCare cell and surrounding area. The e-waste is dissembled, sorted and packed ready for collection by WeCare. WeCare guarantees the buyback per kg per type of e-waste. As a result, the container staff are confident in what to charge per kg and that the e-waste will be sold. This also ensures that all e-waste is collected, not just the high value material.


The container disassembly, handling, support and sales process is determined by WeCare and audited annually by WeCare auditors to ensure compliance with the national e-waste collection plan. The containers are branded as WeCare and include branding for the funding company where relevant. The company branding remains in place for five years, and the funding is partly tax deductible via the WeCare non-profit registration that allows legal donations to be tax deductible.


Ericsson Container


Ericsson commissioned WeCare to build an e-Waste Buy-Back container that could be shipped to and set-up in Cotonou, Benin. This was part of a joint marketing exercise with Ericsson and MTN Benin.

The main purpose of the e-waste Buy-Back Container was to create local e-waste awareness by paying for e-waste per kg in MTN airtime vouchers . The container was modified in such a way that the e-waste could be weighed outside the container, and then once separated it could be stored inside the container in a caged area. This Ericsson e-Waste Buy-Back Centre was in Cotonou for six months and collected an estimated 21 tons of e-waste.


After the initial trial period of six months, the container was shipped back to WeCare to undergo maintenance, repairs and modification. The e-Waste Buy-Back container has now been shipped to Abidjan in Ivory Coast, where it will remain until December 2015. (see Google+ collection)

FUNDING MODEL

For the WeCare programme to succeed funding needs to be generated, as neither the schools nor the entrepreneurs for the support containers have the funds to initiate the process. One of the core principals of the WeCare plan is to acquire funds initially and then sustain the programme throughout its duration.
Not for profit vs For profit

The programme is designed for local communities where the PCs will be installed at schools and supported by the WeCare containers. To gain acceptance from the local community an innovative process is followed:

* WeCare cells are identified in conjunction with the provincial education departments and the local school principals. WeCare and the provincial education department sign a Memorandum of Understanding defining how the rollout in the schools will take place. A steering committee is formed consisting of members from the education department, WeCare and any other relevant parties required to manage and implement the rollout.

* The local municipalities, the Mayor and community leaders are consulted to identify the entrepreneurs for the support containers.


This process ensures that the WeCare Programme has support from all the relevant interested and affected local parties.


WeCare follows three basic function options to be flexible and optimise the potential of available funding.


Government funding

* Supplied by national or provincial government, typically from special project funds that are available for education, job creation, small business development and environmental impact projects.

* As WeCare has an impact on multiple population upliftment disciplines, the funding may come from various special project funds or a mix of funds options.


International funding

* Supplied from international government funds or international funding agents, typically from project funds that are available for education, job creation, small business development, environmental impact projects and population upliftment funds.

* As WeCare has an impact on multiple population upliftment disciplines, the funding may come from various special project funds or a mix of funds options.

* The purpose of the international funding is to supply WeCare programmes beyond South Africa to the rest of the continent. WeCare is designed to be able to supply PCs and job creation opportunities for the whole of Africa.

Corporate or private funding

* Corporates are encouraged to fund WeCare projects as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments.

* WeCare delivers a clear measurable result for the corporate and enables company reporting to show the results of the CSR funding. Due to the nature of the programme, most of the funds supplied are allocated to deliverable results rather than management and implementation costs.

* Through the schools and the support containers, WeCare enjoys direct marketing exposure for the CSR funding (See WeCare’s Facebook page).

* The CSR funds also deliver a sustainable long-term result with a tangible positive impact to the targeted community rather than a once-off charitable donation.


The expenditure of the funds supplied to WeCare is strictly controlled by the company’s own accounting policy as well as Treasury regulations for NPCs.

WeCare DELIVERABLES

WeCare is committed to creating a major impact on PC literacy in Africa. The project is designed to be implemented in cells (10 schools and one support container are defined as a cell). The project is scalable, from one cell servicing thousands of people to multiple cells delivering results to hundreds of thousands of people - and eventually millions of people!

One WeCare project is used here to demonstrate the impact of the programme. The calculations are based on 31 schools in a rural area in South Africa. The 31 schools form part of a larger WeCare 1200-school rollout project. The results are:


* 31 schools, 3 WeCare cells. 2 cells have 10 schools each and 1 cell has 11 schools.

* Each cell has 1 support container, and each support container has 3 owner entrepreneurs - creating permanent jobs for 9 people out of this 3-cell configuration.

* Each of the schools receives 50 PCs, 2 servers and 1 printer, all connected to a local area network.

* The number of learners per school ranges from 218 to 1600, with a total of 16,009 learners in the 31 schools. 16,009 children who previously had limited or no access to computer technology.

* All the learners live in the area with their families; for the purpose of calculation each learner’s family is estimated to be 4 people including the learner. This brings the total number of people impacted by this WeCare project to 64,045.


In summary:

* Direct permanent sustainable jobs created: 9

* Direct impact on learners access to computers: 16,009

* Indirect impact on the population in the area (excluding learners): 48,027


WeCare has improved the lives of 64,045 people in the area. This is a clear measurable value that can be calculated with every WeCare cell that is rolled out. The areas of impact in people’s lives reach beyond access to computer technology to include general education, improved environmental living conditions and the growth and financial opportunities which result from having access to the Internet.


The WeCare project will have a positive impact on millions of people in Africa. For it to succeed, however, it needs the buy-in of government and corporate funds. This project is the first of its kind in that it aims to supply a total sustainable working solution for digital upliftment in Africa without any negative result to the environment caused by the unavoidable increase in electronic scrap. In fact, the WeCare programme supplies a solution to the growing e-waste problem in Africa while creating jobs and supplying computers to the digitally challenged in Africa.

WeCare Head Office in Imbonini Park Shakas Head

WeCare Head Office in Imbonini Park Shakas Head

Research and Development
Inside the WeCare Container manufacturing plant

Inside the WeCare Container manufacturing plant

This is where all the containers are designed and manufactured using recycled materials
Bongimfundo Primary School computer training centre

Bongimfundo Primary School computer training centre

The schools concept addresses the chronic need for computers in schools, which has reached crisis proportions in Africa. The ratio of students to computers is around 200:1; holding African school leavers back in a digitally-challenged world.
BongiMfundo Primary School Computer training centre

Bongimfundo Primary School computer training centre

The WeCare project aims not only to install significant volumes of PCs into schools, but to provide a sustainable solution by supporting the PCs throughout their lifespan.
BongiMfundo Primary School Computer training centre

Bongimfundo Primary School computer training centre

Teacher assisting student at Bongimfundo Primary School in Darnall on PC's acquired from WeCare NPC at a nominally discounted rate
WeCare newly designed Container

WeCare Newly designed and manufactured container

Our newly designed container ready for service
WeCare newly designed Container inside

WeCare Newly designed and manufactured container inside

A look inside one of our newly designed and manufactured containers

DROP US A LINE

"Dont just go for safe projects. Take on the really tough problems"

- Warren Buffet
 
 
Please answer the question below
10 - 5 =
 


FIND US ON GOOGLE MAPS


Landline:

+27 32 947 0165

Email:

info@wecarenpc.com