24 May 2009

Donate Your Used Mobile Phone to Help People

Now here's something really great, a new program called HopePhones that was just launched.

Old phones save lives. Donate yours to a medical clinic in a developing country today.

Not only can you do good with this, it provides a service to you! You have an old phone, you go to their website, print the mailing label - postage paid, put the phone in a box and send it off! How easy is that?

HopePhones uses the value of your old phone to acquire appropriate mobile phones in developing countries. Those phones are placed with community health workers who are part of programs to improve the health and welfare of those who need it most. The HopePhones website has more details about where these phones are helping people live better lives, and how some are working with the FrontlineSMS:Medic platform. Mobile phones are causing a small revolution in rural development, and one of the key areas for impact is in health care due to their ability to transmit information quickly and easily, from anywhere there's a cellular signal. (Some of you will know I am a great believer in the potential of mobile telephony to improve rural livelihoods through my work with the e-Agriculture community.)

Also, you are saving the environment by not throwing your old phone into the trash.

So far the postage paid service is only good within the United States. To any of my friends in Italy or Thailand or elsewhere, if you give me your old phone I will send it in to HopePhones on my next trip to the States. That's the least I can do.

(Why didn't we have examples of initiatives like this at WSIS last week?)

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