Can you imagine, as a writer, not having your own computer?
Having access to only a few public computers, at the library, which isn’t always open?
And, when your chance to use one of the computers does arise, having your time on it limited because demand for its use is high?
Or maybe, when your turn comes, the generators go down and you have to wait till next week to continue your work?
That’s the situation for most Liberian writers I’ve had the privilege of working with for the past few years, as a volunteer for CODE (the Canadian Organization for Development through Education) and the We Care Foundation in Liberia.
Meanwhile, how many writers in Canada have laptop computers gathering dust in their closets, having upgraded to a newer model in recent months, or will soon have a laptop they don’t need because there’s an upgrade in their near future?
The contrast between dire need and likely availability led me to the idea of “Laptops for Liberia”. If I can find some not-too-old laptops that would be of value to writers in Liberia, CODE has agreed to pay the not-insubstantial cost of shipping them there, as a way of supporting the Reading Liberia program which is designed to create Liberian-authored books for Liberian children. We Care in Liberia is working out details of fair distribution of any laptops that are donated.
So I’m now reaching out to my Canadian friends and colleagues through my blog, CANSCAIP and IBBY-Canada (who originally arranged for my involvement in “Reading Liberia”), and possibly The Writers’ Union of Canada, too, in hopes that you’ll want to support this initiative.
Whether you write for children or adults, novels, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, or picture book texts, and whether you’ve upgraded your computer recently or expect to in the near future, I hope you’ll consider donating your used laptop to “Laptops for Liberia”.
You can email me to let me know of your interest in doing so at email@example.com. Please put Laptops for Liberia in the subject line.