A West Midland communications agency is providing its services free of charge to promote a scheme to recycle old computers in the Third World.
Rave Communications, based in Coleshill, will provide public relations and brand development services on a no fee basis to Digital Links International, a not for profit organisation that aims to improve the lives of people in the developing world by providing them with access to refurbished computer equipment.
Digital Links International secures the donation of redundant PCs from private and public organisations in the UK, refurbishes them and provides them at low cost to schools, community centres, hospitals and social enterprises in developing countries.
Rave will publicise the organisation across all media with the aim of encouraging more businesses to use them for disposal of their equipment.
John Wilford, managing director of Rave, said: "In our business, we use IT to a great degree and are well aware of the benefits it brings.
"Digital Links International aims to provide some of those same benefits to people who are less fortunate than ourselves. It's an extremely worthwhile cause and for that reason we are providing our services on a 'pro bono' basis."
The work is being done on an ad hoc basis, and PR manager Chris Date said its value had not been calculated, " perhaps a nominal two days a month".
Since its foundation in 2002, Digital Links International has distributed more than 15,000 computers to over 1,000 schools and other institutions in 15 different countries, making it one of the largest and most successful organisations in the sector.
This improved access has led to increased education and economic opportunities for more than 400,000 people, with the aim for 2005 to being to pass the 1million beneficiaries milestone.
David Sogan, CEO and founder of Digital Links International, added: "Many businesses are unaware of the EU's new WEEE Directive and haven't yet begun to consider in any detail how they will dispose of their unwanted computers. We hope they will consider using their old computers to benefit others and we are grateful to Rave for helping us publicise our scheme."
WEEE is the European Union Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. It states that companies must no longer simply dispose of obsolete, redundant and surplus electrical equipment in landfill. It comes into effect in August 2005 and will affect items such as PCs, monitors and laptops.
Digital Links International's reputation in the UK is based on the safe and efficient handling of redundant PCs. Donors are safe in the knowledge that the PCs' hard drives will be cleared of any sensitive information, by being professionally sanitised to GCHQ standards, and that the organisation complies with all existing and proposed environmental legislation.
Donors to the scheme have already included DHL, Ford, Reuters, Shell, Research Machines, Bupa, Unicef, Commercial Transfer, Allsop, Turner Broadcasting System and the Guardian. Every donor receives detailed feedback on how their equipment is being used to benefit others.
Rave Communications was formed in 2000 and launched its public relations division, Rave PR, in April 2004.
In its first year, the department has run successful PR campaigns for clients including, Outokumpu Stainless, Wastefile UK, Birmingham's Bull Ring Markets, South Birmingham College and FoneShop.com.