Shamuk, leaving no one behind, is a project that seeks to reduce electronic waste by giving it a second life. It reduces the digital gap and supports school reintegration through repowering devices and delivering them to children in rural areas in Ecuador. The initiative was designed and is led by volunteers from the Ecuadorian Red Cross, with funding and support from the IFRC Solferino Academy.
During project planning and implementation, several challenges have appeared, but with support from SIFI (Integrated System of Training and Innovation of the Ecuadorian Red Cross) and the National Society, those challenges have been resolved.
Shamuk officially began its pilot implementation on September 2021. Since the launch, its different processes have started to roll: a laboratory for the re-empowerment of electronic devices has opened, and volunteers who are part of the team are being trained.
For the Ecuadorian Red Cross, this project has given the possibility of generating new spaces and ways of volunteering, beyond the traditional ones related to risk management, blood donation and ambulances, which has, in turn, helped to diversify the actions of the institution.
Shamuk has started the repowering and donation of the first computers to children in the rural areas of northwestern Pichincha in Ecuador. This first donation will help in building a bigger impact and scope for the campaign to collect computers, cell phones or tablets for repowering. The goal at the end of the pilot implementation is to deliver 400 electronic devices to children, in addition to further developing Shamuk methodology so that the initiative can be replicated in other cities in Ecuador.
The implementation of Shamuk has also attracted the attention of private companies, who have seen this initiative as an opportunity to contribute to the development of rural communities and shorten the existing digital gap in the country. This has helped to diversify partnerships and collaborate also with those who seek to contribute and support even if not always not attracted to the more traditional actions of the organisation.
In this way, Shamuk also seeks to be an initiative that provides greater and more diverse opportunities for participation with a positive environmental and social impact.