Volunteer group MACO collects and refurbishes old PCs for kids studying from home

Dr Toh said MACO has collected around 150 computers since starting last month, and distributed them to several schools. — MACO

MACO (Medical Awareness Camp Outreach) has launched the Computer Literacy project to provide restored and refurbished computers on a loan basis to students for online classes during the recovery movement control order (RMCO).

It said on Facebook that its volunteer tech team can “bring to life” old computers running on Windows, and open source operating systems like Chrome OS and Lubuntu OS.

The NGO is also asking for peripherals like a mouse and a webcam for desktop computers that don't come with them.

The volunteer group, founded in 2015, started out by providing free medical services to poor communities and conducting free health camps in residential areas.

Its president Dr Toh Cheng Teik said starting early 2020, the group expanded its services to aid poor students in the B40 group by offering daily meals so they could do better in school.

Following RMCO, it decided to provide computers to those students, as schools were closed and lessons were conducted virtually, but not all children had access to computers at home.

Dr Toh said MACO has collected around 150 computers since starting last month, and distributed them to several schools.

“We also add a proviso, that if the students do well in their classes, they can keep the computers,” he said when contacted.

Dr Toh said the computers are only the first step, as some of students still did not have a stable Internet connection.

He added that it is an urgent issue because the kids will still not be able to study even with a computer if they can't access the online lessons.

Those interested in donating computers or peripherals to MACO can drop it off at its centre in Petaling Jaya or contact its team. More information is available on MACO’s Facebook page.

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