Lenovo Connects Education and Entrepreneurship with PC Support for Millennium Villages Project

(PresseBox) ( Research Triangle Park, NC, )
Lenovo today announced its donation of $150,000 to the Millennium Promise's Millennium Villages Project (MVP) that will establish nine new school computer labs and 25 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) kiosks in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The donation will support local student and entrepreneurs through the purchase of 148 Lenovo PCs, including the H200 desktop, IdeaPad S12 netbook and ThinkPad SL500 laptop. It will also cover supporting technologies to the Millennium Villages, including installation, technology training and additional ICT equipment. The donation, part of Lenovo's "Hope through Entrepreneurship" program, will include the cost of installing solar power equipment at off-the-grid schools and kiosk sites. The first shipment of computers is currently on its way to Millennium Villages in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

"Lenovo's contribution is groundbreaking for families in the Millennium Villages," said Millennium Promise CEO John W. McArthur. "Its impact will be felt by students learning in schools as well as the small-business community. By funding the computers and associated costs, Lenovo is ensuring both a smooth start-up and future sustainability. This generous investment will create access to ICT for these remarkable communities across sub-Saharan Africa."

The new ICT kiosks will be operated by local Millennium Village entrepreneurs and offer a sustainable way to supply basic ICT services to rural areas. Kiosk owners will be provided two-to-four computers from Lenovo, as well as technology and business training. Graduate students from Columbia University's Business School and School of International and Public Affairs will also travel to kiosk sites as interns to help oversee the program and develop sustainable business skills.

The nine new school computer labs will be outfitted with five-to-10 Lenovo computers as well as WiFi and 3G Internet access from Ericsson and other MVP supporters, where available. The new labs will play an integral role in supporting the MVP's School-to-School initiative, a program that uses technology to link schools in the U.S. with Millennium Village schools, enabling them to share a culture and curriculum based on the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

"Equipping schools and kiosk sites with PCs and technology support will provide the communities in the Millennium Villages with a new platform for business and learning opportunities," said Lenovo President and Chief Operating Officer Rory Read. "Lenovo is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs through technology in disadvantaged communities around the world, and our partnership with Millennium Promises opens the door for more people to participate in today's global society and economy."

The Millennium Villages project supports rural African communities, helping them to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. With Lenovo's contribution of computers and supporting technology resources, the Millennium Villages are proving that, by fighting poverty at the village level through community-led, integrated and science-based approaches to development, rural Africa is on its way to self-sustainable development.

Lenovo's commitment to the Millennium Promise is part of its broader effort to give back to the community. As a global corporation with employees, customers and vendors throughout the world, Lenovo seeks to address issues in areas of great need, and the "Hope through Entrepreneurship" is just one channel through which the company gives back to the global community.
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