In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic technology has become more vital than ever, essential to work, communicate, learn, shop, or access important services.

Demand has soared for the refurbished devices that the Government of Canada’s Computers for Schools Plus (CFS+) program delivers to educational institutions, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities, isolated and low-income Canadians.

Since 1993, the Computers for Schools Plus program has distributed over 1.7 million refurbished computers. Federal and provincial governments provide the majority of used technology donations, with the private sector supplying about one-third. With funding from the Government of Canada, donations are handled by the program’s affiliates; not-for-profits that operate in every province and territory. They are dependent on receiving digital hardware such as desktop and laptop computers, monitors, printers and the accompanying accessories.

The refurbishment phase has positive social impact across the country. The work is carried out by youth interns. They are recruited through the federal government’s CFS+ Intern program, part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS).

To date, more than 7,000 young people from every province and territory have participated in paid internships. They gain both work experience and the digital skills, learning to refurbish hardware and install software. During recent school shutdowns, it has become more evident that some students are at a disadvantage. With no access to a computer or Internet at home, and no longer at their school or local library, they could not keep up with their schoolwork.

Potential corporate donors of used technology should contact the Nova Scotia Program Manager at cfsns@novascotia.ca or call (902) 424-3596 if they can donate. CFS+ uses industry standard data destruction to ensure privacy.

Computers for Schools Stats