Solar Community Hubs
Nearly half of the world’s population is without access to the internet. Dell Technologies, in partnership with Computer Aid International, is addressing the gap for people that might benefit the most. They convert old shipping containers into customizable, solar-powered internet centers, called “solar community hubs”, that connect community members to the digital world. The hubs are well-lit, well-ventilated classrooms that use energy-efficient Dell technology and air-cooled servers. Each hub supports up to 40 people at a time and offers up to 20 users a wireless connection to learning materials.
The hubs provide digital skills to further education and open economic opportunities for the local community; allow micro and small enterprises to create jobs; and enable financial sustainability by offering services and products that go beyond education, such as telemedicine. The first hub was placed in the Brazilian Amazon town of Boa Esperança in March 2022. Dell and the Foundation for Amazon Sustainability also installed equipment, including drones and environmental monitors, to track deforestation in the area. During the first week of March 2023, more than 200 alerts about tree loss were posted from Boa Esperança. Three hubs currently exist in Brazil and South Africa, and Dell will soon add two hubs in Egypt that are focused on career and life skills, as well as another in Australia, centered on preserving and protecting Aboriginal art and culture.