Used PC sets for people with a thin wallet

Social Computer project of St. Poelten GESA

The non-profit rehabilitation and occupation GmbH (GESA) in St. Poelten join in their project of SoCom environment-friendliness through reprocessing, a useful activity for their employed staff, and access to EDP devices for “needy persons”. In the project of social computers, used, but still functional EDP devices are collected, started up again, and sold to financially disadvantaged persons at a cheap price.

From collection to current equipment and sale

“In Austria, in a year several thousand still functioning EDP devices are disposed of. Just as many persons and organizations are in desperate need of computers”, explains the Director of GESA’s, Johann Lechner, referring to the background of this project. SoCom comprises takeover and pickup of used EDP devices, check of function, cleaning, and new configuration of devices, as well as installation of officially licensed software. “We are allowed to use the worldwide MAR social program of Microsoft, which facilitates an installation of the second to last Microsoft version for 5 euros”, reports Johann Lechner. In this project, however, a report has to be made on every PC delivered, in order to safeguard that the recipients are entitled to this purchase.

Disadvantaged persons and non-profit organizations

SoCom mainly offers PC sets fit for the web, but also monitors, printers, cables or similar. Besides financially disadvantaged persons, also people with impairments as well as non-profit organizations in the fields of science, education, and social affairs, which do not have the necessary resources, are allowed to make use of this offer.

“The acquisition of PCs is sometimes quite time-consuming”, states Johann Lechner. In this context, within the framework of this project useful partnerships are entered with economy, in order to receive functional devices. On a regular basis, the municipal authorities of St. Poelten and the Chamber of Economy deliver EDP devices.

Saving of raw materials, social responsibility and education

SoCom contributes to the reduction of environmental pollution and the saving of raw materials. At the same time, it facilitates the assumption of social responsibility for this enterprise and its partners, and finally it has an educational mission, as it facilitates the participation of disadvantaged persons in information society. “Due to the cheap price of our PCs, also needy persons are able to catch up with technology, which is nowadays required for finding one’s place in society, and thus also in the labour market.”

Qualification through furthering of technical and social competence

This non-profit rehabilitation and occupation GmbH have existed since 1993, and they focus on rehabilitation in close cooperation with the housing association. The slogan of foundation: “Unemployed persons create living space for homeless persons.”, has in the meantime been considerably expanded, and this socio-economic enterprise has considerably grown with 44 workplaces. Besides rehabilitation of living space and wood and the SoCom project, GESA offer services in the fields of cleaning, office and administration, and green space care.

Three temporary workplaces have been created by the SoCom project, which are ideally suited for employment and qualification of people looking for work through furthering technical and social competence. “This sphere of activity offers an interesting work especially for young persons, furthers a structured day and social competence, and provides for motivation for the challenges of the first employment market”, emphasizes Johann Lechner.