The team from Merenschwand has its hands full in a former rectory. On average, over 100 laptops are now cleaned, set up and shipped throughout Switzerland every week. In the following newsletter, the business manager gives information about what is coming up in the following months.
More staff, as more work is needed
Besides organising and setting up laptops, there is a lot of other work for the association team. For example, technical interfaces need to be further developed in order to optimise processes, or additional marketing efforts need to be implemented in order to organise more laptops.
"Until recently, our activities on social media were quite unstructured and did not follow a clear goal. We will intensify our work in this area, as our work also needs to be seen," says Schär.
Recently, the association published a press release which, for example, aims to raise awareness of the excessive requirements for laptop computers for apprentices and students - with serious consequences for all families and people who do not have sufficient means to purchase new ones themselves. "When education bureaucracy excludes learners, Switzerland's education system has failed," says Schär. this contribution. The association team wants to advance public relations work in this area. "We are also fighting against a big lobby of manufacturers and distribution networks, which of course have an interest in procuring as many new devices as possible," says Schär.
e-learning platform for Switzerland
So far, the association has focused on distributing laptops. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that people living in poverty often have little computer knowledge to be able to use the devices in a targeted way.
"With the wLw-Academy, we will create the first free e-learning platform in Switzerland. The goal is that even basic knowledge in this field can be done free of charge, independent of time and place," says Nadine Leimbacher, project manager for the wLw-Academy.
However, the training topics should not only include purely programme-related knowledge, but also interactive learning opportunities based on simple examples. The first training contents will focus on the safe use of the internet and the creation of a CV and a household budget. "Many other learning contents will be added on an ongoing basis, but it must be possible to secure the appropriate funding for this," says Leimbacher.
With the strategy "Digital Switzerland", the Federal Council has pointed out the direction for an increasingly digital Switzerland, but according to the association's team, digitalisation is not only taking place at the administrative and economic level, but also among the population. "We hope that the federal government will see our commitment to the population and support it accordingly. At the moment, we are covering the costs of creating learning content from our association reserves, because we believe in the vision," says Schär about the current situation.
The rest is still to come
In addition to the wLw-Academy and steadily increasing order volumes, the association would also like to improve the existing processes. For example, it is a declared goal that in future companies and private individuals will also be entitled to free and professional data deletion or destruction. This is already part of the standard process for donated laptops. "However, many companies have high requirements and would like to be able to track with evidence who has processed a data carrier where and when," says Benjamin Brändli - Head of IT Operations of the association.
A data carrier destruction machine was bought especially for this purpose, which shreds hard disks into the smallest pieces. In addition, a specially built camera system can be used to track who has added a data carrier to the device and how the hard drives are destroyed.
"On the final video, which is created for each data medium, information about the data medium and the persons processing it is also listed. For us, the destruction of data media is carried out exclusively under the dual control principle. Brändli is alluding to the fact that there are no certifications in Switzerland that specify the processes for dealing with the destruction of data media. He also hopes that the association will be able to stand up to conventional companies with this procedure and that more companies will decide to donate old devices to the association - because there are no costs involved.
"A certified deletion programme is of no use if you don't know where which data carrier is at what time and who is responsible for it," says Brändli. Much of the information is pulled from existing systems that the association has built up over the past few years. "But we are much more agile than others," concludes Brändli.
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