PCs for Migrant Children: The story so far

by Travel Paulie on July 12, 2010

Monkeys at Keyboards

At the time of writing, it’s been a full 2 weeks since I launched my PCs for migrant children campaign on my blog.  It’s been a very interesting time to say the least and I’ve learned quite a bit about fundraising, collecting money online, getting the word out, and learning more about the people that I know and realising the efforts that many of them will go to to donate and spread the word for causes they believe in. It’s been brilliant!

It’s not too late to donate, and no contribution is too small.  Every little counts! 🙂

The total amount of monies raised to date (12th July 2010) is as follows:

  • £678/£650 (gross/net) through Paypal; at current exchange rates ~฿31,500
  • ¥60,000 to my Japan bank account; at current exchange rates ~฿21,900
  • [Updated] £250 to my UK bank account; at current exchange rates ~฿12,300
  • ฿3,000 pledge

That’s a total of ~฿68,700.  Granted, I’ll lose a certain percentage of that when I actually transfer and convert the money to Thai Baht in the end, but it is a seriously fantastic effort on the part of everyone who either donated, or spread the word to their friends.

Where I’m living right now, Mae Sot, I can get a decent, second hand computer for between ฿5,000 and ฿6,000 depending on slight variations on the specifications.  That means with your help, I can source about 10~12 computers and place them in schools which until now have never had computers installed!

How amazing is that?!


My Dilemma

The simple dilemma is this: Do I take the money that I’ve raised so far and run out and buy PCs with it, or, do I wait?  Why would I wait?  Well on top of the financial donations I have had some offers of hardware donations and I could potentially stretch this money further if I dedicate it to the import of free, 2nd-hand hardware from abroad.  There are 1 or 2 potential offers that would totally outpace what I could do with the money alone, but the problem I am faced with is the limitation of time.  I am here for a limited period only, perhaps only another 4 weeks and I need to get the hardware delivered here, prepare the machines, install the computers on-site, and then run through the training necessary to leave the computers in the hands of the schools’ teachers and students.

Also, all the time spent here waiting for hardware to arrive could be spent training teachers and students if I had computers already installed.

It’s a difficult choice to make since I want to both maximise my time spent here, but at the same time maximise the money that has been donated to this cause to deliver the largest possible impact for these kids.

As I type this, I think I may mix it up and just buy one or two computers and begin the process of installing them in the first school.  That way, when the time comes when other computers arrive, I’ll have hopefully sussed out a methodology for installation and training – this is my first time to do something like this, so there’s learning on my part as well 🙂

It may turn out to not be the best choice, but it’ll hopefully not be a bad one in the end.


If you have any comments or suggestions, or you have experience with importing computers and hardware within southeast Asia and particularly Thailand, I’d love to hear from you.  Please feel free to comment below, or write to me directly using the contact form available here.

If this is your first time to become aware of this project, please visit the main campaign page for more details and a link to a donation website if you feel you would like to contribute.

Of course, it’s never too late to donate to this cause all the while I’m still in Thailand and if you’re reading this in July/August 2010, I’m still here.

Thank you all for your support!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jo July 21, 2010 at 16:25

I think that you clearly have a great attitude towards your kids and that is hlf the reason why they feel comfortable. Maybe if you had more resources you would be able to do some group work with the range of abilities in you class. 🙂


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