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Free computers on their way to Flin Flon, Thompson and Marcel Colomb First Nation

Northern Manitoba residents are among those who will benefit from the latest batch of refurbished desktop computers being donated by Tech Manitoba to those in need.

Northern Manitoba residents are among those who will benefit from the latest batch of refurbished desktop computers being donated by Tech Manitoba to those in need.

Fifteen of the computers packed up and shipped off from Winnipeg July 6 will be going to Flin Flon School Division students whose families were receiving food hampers and school materials, including borrowed laptops, since in-person classes were suspended in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another 15 are bound for Thompson, where they will be distributed to people and organizations in the city and in outlying communities, including Marcel Colomb First Nation near Lynn Lake, by Tech Manitoba’s partner University College of the North (UCN).

The computers were refurbished by Computers for Schools and come complete with a keyboard, mouse, monitor and preloaded videos on computer basics created by Tech Manitoba to help recipients set up their computers, learn basic computer skills and get safely online.

“Many of take computers and connectivity for granted, and that isn’t the case for everyone,” said Tech Manitoba CEO Kay Gardiner in a press release. “The more we move services online, the more people are left behind. Getting a computer and basic training is a first step to bridging that divide.”

Delivery of the computers was facilitated by Winnipeg-based online freight-matching service Evotrux and is being provided by trucking company Gardewine.

Prior to this latest shipment, Tech Manitoba and Computers for Schools have provided 241 refurbished and sanitized computers to people in need across the province, including 26 in Thompson and 18 in other Northern Manitoba communities. Refurbished computers were last distributed to Thompson residents by UCN’s Northern Workforce Development Centre in early May.