One of the major impacts of the CFS program is to facilitate digital inclusiveness by helping meet the growing need for computers in the classroom and the community and providing equal access to markets, services and political, social and physical spaces.
Since 1993, the CFS program has delivered, at little or no cost, more than 1.5 million computers across Canada, 80% of which have historically been to schools, improving the ratio of computers to one for every two students and helping to provide opportunities for learning and training. Improved access to computers exposes youth to information and communication technologies that they can use to expand their knowledge base.
By my calculations, almost half a million students over the last 20 years have benefited from the partnership between CFS and Edmonton Public Schools.
— David Callander, Manager ITS, EPS, Edmonton, Alberta
Over the course of the past 23 years, the CFS program has also improved access to computers in libraries and non-profit community organizations. These locations have become critical digital hubs where citizens can equip themselves to compete more effectively for jobs, connect with each other and the world, and access a vast range of resources, services and tools available online.
Your organization provides a key component to learning programs and enables even more children to gain access to the skills they need to learn and thrive on their journey for knowledge, fun and independence.
— Rhonda Kenning, Executive Director, Growing Minds Child Care, Niverville, Manitoba
Another strong indicator of CFS’s social impact is the skills training component of the program. Through the use of the Technical Work Experience Program (TWEP) funding from Employment and Social Development Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, CFS has provided technical employment to more than 6000 youth over the years. Youth hired by the CFS program have and continue to gain experience relevant to future careers in information and communication technologies (ICT) through hands-on training in computer refurbishment activities, software testing and other administrative-related work.
As a newcomer, I was looking for something to start with. Fortunately, I was hired by Computers for Schools. They provided me with the opportunity of getting not only the experience related to my career, but also the Canadian experience that was so important to me. It was a very good chance to start my career here in Canada.
— Anton, TWEP intern
The CFS program, which was co-founded by Industry Canada and the TelecomPioneers of Canada, has historically relied on the support of experienced telecom sector volunteers to fulfill its mission. By placing experienced volunteers in interaction with young interns, the CFS program gives volunteers and youth the opportunity to create links that help broaden their opportunities and their horizons.