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An initiative that turns used technology into usable and valuable assets for students.

Whether it is from companies, institutions, or private households – this NGO, awarded the Lower Saxony Prize for Civic Engagement”, collects and updates used computers, laptops, and tablets all over Germany and distributes them to young people who don’t have their own.

Beginning in Braunschweig, this initiative soon proved to be successful and has shortly grown (and continues to do so) in over 30 cities nationwide, including Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Hamburg and many more.

Apart from technology, HEY, ALTER! also offers many useful tutorials which help the youth learn everything about the ever-changing digital world. See more in this video:

In addition to that, HEY, ALTER! team created a short manual that contains the most important instructions and information for using computers.

Get to know HEY, ALTER!

A brief interview with Martin Bretschneider explains how he and Moritz Tetzlaff started and developed HEY ALTER!

How, when and for what reason was the HEY, ALTER! project founded?

We started in April 2020. First, there was a request for three discarded computers. There was an urgent need in a school class of a friend who is a teacher. And it became clear: there are computers like this in every company. That was the birth of the idea to collect discarded computers from companies, prepare them and distribute them to pupils who do not have their own. In this way, we wanted to support young people in homeschooling and e-learning, in digitalisation and for more equal opportunities. That’s what we did.

We had the luck of the momentum: the first lockdown in Germany, everything closed, but ears and doors open for a good idea. Everyone helped: The Braunschweig Employers’ Association, the Technical University, companies that spontaneously agreed to help, volunteers, IT specialists. Everything went simply and unbureaucratically.

Can you briefly describe how you find the students who need computers and the organisations who want to donate these?

We help directly those who need our help. We give away the computers donated to us to the children after they have been technically prepared with the Linux operating system Ubuntu, with browser and office freeware. The schools help us identify those who need one. The class teachers determine the need, the headmasters send us the total number, and we deliver the computers.

In your experience, what are the most common difficulties encountered by pupils without computers?

Students who do not have their own computer were excluded from e-learning and homeschooling during Corona. But even now that school has started again, not having access to the internet is a significant disadvantage.

To improve equal opportunities and to increase future chances for children and young people – that is our goal.

Moritz Tetzlaff and Martin Bretschneider, the two HEY, ALTER! founders

For people who are interested in donating: What types of equipment are most needed?

Children who do not have their own computer usually come from families with a low household income. These children often do not have their own room or desk, too little space to set up stationary computers. That is why we primarily need laptops, preferably not over seven years old, with a camera and microphone. And as many as possible.

The project has proven to be very successful and is spreading to new cities. Do you already have information that the initiative is starting in new cities? If so, where?

HEY, ALTER! initiatives now exist in 35 cities and regions across Germany. Together we have distributed over 6,000 computers. That’s good, but it’s only the beginning. We are continuing and are happy about any support.

Be a part of HEY, ALTER!

If you would like to donate the computers, laptops or tablets or money, you can do so by picking the initiative in your city and following the info directly from their dedicated website:

Start your own initiative!

You can also become a part of HEY, ALTER! project by starting the initiative in your own city. Visit heyalter.com to find all the details and help!

Redaktion/Editorial

Redaktion/Editorial

Behind the WirHelfen magazine editorial team is a small team of accomplished authors, foreign language and audio/video professionals, and equally highly motivated newcomers to the media field: international, diverse, interested, committed, enthusiastic, and - we hope - inspiring.

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