MONTREAL, Feb. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat has donated 220 computers to
Decizzion One, a Salvadoran organization that is the driving force behind a
humanitarian initiative called Computers for All, which is helping to
computerize schools in El Salvador. The machines will be installed this spring
in six public schools in the country's capital, San Salvador, and will help
more than 5,000 students aged 7 to 16 learn computer skills.
"Our charitable donation to one of our destination countries is part of
our desire to contribute to the well-being of communities that welcome
travellers," says Lina De Cesare, President, Tour Operators, and a co-founder
of Transat. "This generation of young Salvadorans that is learning about the
digital world today will help build a stronger economy tomorrow."
The project is the brainchild of a young Montreal computer analyst, Jason
Keith Mailley, who began thinking about the idea during a trip he took to El
Salvador in 2004, when he was only 26 years old. His stay with a Salvadoran
family and a simple visit to a school literally changed the course of his
life - today he works full-time for the educational program he initiated in
2006 and which has already been responsible for the installation of
280 computers in schools in the greater San Salvador region.
"Computer and Internet use is so ingrained in our daily lives that we
can't even imagine young people in other countries not having access to them
in 2008 and perhaps missing the digital revolution," says Mr. Mailley. "Our
program is ensuring that young Salvadorans have more skills when they are
ready to enter the job market."
Decizzion One, which employs 17 people, will pick up the equipment at the
destination, set up computer classes and train teachers and students. Its
educational initiative would not be possible without the support of the
Montreal company PC Recycle, a specialist in the sale and recycling of used
computers and peripherals, which will collect the computers in Montreal and
ship them by boat to the Central American country. "By extending the lifespan
of computers, we are not only making a better choice for the environment, we
are taking a social action that is benefiting thousands of students and entire
communities," notes Robert Gagné of PC Recycle. "All the project partners are
being well rewarded for their efforts."
Decizzion One has also promised to retrieve the computers at the end of
their useful life and to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way
after having recycled all the reusable components.
The first and only Canadian tour operator offering holiday packages in El
Salvador for the past three years, Transat has weekly flights to San Salvador
from Montreal with a stopover in Toronto. With more than 1.1 million
international visitors, El Salvador recorded the second-biggest growth in
tourism in Latin America in 2006. Tourism to the country leapt by a
spectacular 17.4%, representing revenues of about US$780 million. El Salvador
is the smallest of Central America's seven countries, covering an area of
21,000 km2, and has a population of nearly 7 million. Besides El Salvador,
Transat offers packages to four other Central American countries: Guatemala,
Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
As part of the renewal of its computer population, Transat has also
donated about 400 computers to the organization Ordinateurs pour les écoles du
Québec (OPEQ), which refurbishes computers and related equipment that no
longer meet the needs of governments and businesses. OPEQ is the Quebec wing
of Computers for Schools, a Canada-wide program founded by Industry Canada.
OPEQ has already distributed more than 152,000 computers to Quebec schools,
libraries and registered not-for-profit learning organizations. The
organization also prioritizes the environmentally friendly recycling of
equipment that it can't use for its program.
Transat A.T. Inc. is an integrated international tour operator with more
than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over
50 countries. A holiday travel specialist, Transat operates mainly in Canada
and Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean Basin.
Montreal-based Transat is also active in air transportation, destination
services, accommodation and distribution. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A)
For further information:
For further information: Jean-Michel Laberge, Advisor, External
Communications, (514) 987-1660, ext. 4662, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Source: Transat A.T. inc., www.transat.com