Killarney students and staff are on a mission. After hearing about a Camosun College organization called Africa Calling dedicated to collecting old cell phones and chargers and redistributing them to the rural poor in Africa, they decided to start their own collection drive.
The group hopes that the recycled cell phones can be used in rural villages as a medical lifeline, aid in regional development and to help better connect poor families separated by vast distances.
Since cell phone infrastructure in Africa is fairly abundant, the phones with removable SIM cards can be easily used on African networks by internationally unlocking the phones and then replacing the Canadian SIM cards with local ones.
Phones with built-in SIM cards would stay in North America and be donated to a women's shelters and social service agencies to help marginalized people in Canada.
So far Killarney organizers say they've collected half a dozen phones, but they're hoping for many others. Anyone interested in supporting the drive is asked to drop off their cell phone in the school system blue bag addressed to Killarney Principal David Derpak or drop them off directly at Killarney Secondary school.
To learn more about the initiative, click here.