Christmas comes early for 60 immigrant youth and families
Local businessman gives back through donation of computers to Calgary newcomers adjusting to life in Canada
CALGARY, Alta —Today, the ERA will donate 60 personal computers to a local charity -The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY), so they can be distributed to high-needs immigrant youth and families within their programs. Bojan Paduh, founder and president of the Electronic Recycling Association (ERA), received a donated computer shortly after he and his family immigrated to Canada nearly two decades ago. Now, through a partnership facilitated by Alberta’s Promise, this good deed will be paid forward.
Too often, the lack of a computer creates challenge for immigrant families, especially those from low-income backgrounds. “I’ve been in the shoes of these youth, rapidly trying to learn a new language and culture without the support systems or comforts of home, and I know how isolating it can be. A computer can help with the transition in a lot of ways,” says Paduh. “I am grateful to be able to give back to a cause I feel so strongly about, especially during the holiday season.”
When newcomers arrive to Calgary they focus on finding a home, acquiring a job and ensuring their kids are safe, settled and able to find a sense of belonging. “These computers will be essential for some of our newcomer youth and families who are unable to access a computer because accessibility and financial constraints. Families will be given the opportunity to expand their community networks, enrich their digital literacy skills, locate the information resources they need to empower their skills and stay connected with their families abroad,” says Umashanie Reddy, executive director of CBFY.
One of the recipients of a computer is a young single mom with two children, who must travel by bus to a friend’s place so her son can access a computer to complete homework and to communicate by Skype with his grandparents back in the Philippines. Another young woman who will be receiving a computer wants to take online courses to improve her English and find work. These are just some of individuals whose lives are going to be impacted in a huge way through this donation.
This donation of computers was made possible through a partnership facilitated by Alberta’s Promise, a provincial initiative that works with businesses, non-profits and community partners to match needs and resources for children and youth in our communities. “Thousands of immigrants begin a new life in Alberta each year. Thanks to the partnership efforts of two Promise Partners, newcomers to Calgary will find the transition more manageable,” says Judy Eng-Hum, Executive Director of Alberta’s Promise.
To the families accessing CBFY’s programs, a computer is more than a piece of equipment. It is the ability to complete and submit schoolwork, look up transit schedules and maps, find a grocery store, connect with their families back home, translate a word they do not understand, or submit a job application. To them, a computer is an opportunity to be empowered and succeed in Canadian society.
The ERA will deliver a truck full of computers to CBFY at 10am.
About the Electronic Recycling Association
Established in 2004, the ERA specializes in waste electronics management, reuse and recycling in Canada. We are unwaveringly committed to reducing electronic waste by extending their lifecycle through electronics donating services, recycling non-reusable electronics, computers, laptops, phones and more. With depots all across Canada, the ERA provides a great way to recycle electronic equipment safely and securely.
About the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth
CBFY is a non-profit agency that helps over 10,000 immigrant youth and families successfully integrate into Calgary each year. The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth engages immigrant youth and families to fulfill their potential in Canadian society
About Alberta’s Promise
Alberta’s Promise is dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth by giving the young people of this province every opportunity to realize their full potential. Since 2003, the organization has worked with business, non-profit and community partners to pair needs and resources and enhance local resources for kids and their families.
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Several recipients of the computer donations will be available on-location for interviews with media.
Media enquiries may be directed to:
Marketing and Communications Manager
Electronic Recycling Association
Work: 403-262-4488 ext 104
Senior Resource Development Officer
The Calgary Bridge Foundation