Kevin Davis with the London phone booth-inspired collection bin at the University of Victoria.

Camosun course could be axed

Camosun College program spawned by donations of secondhand cellphones to Africa is at risk of being discontinued due to cutbacks

A Camosun College program spawned by donations of secondhand cellphones to Africa is at risk of being discontinued due to cutbacks.

Africa Calling collects discarded cellphones and sends them to villages in rural Africa to provide a much-needed service, said founder Kevin Davis.

“Many Africans don’t have Internet or bank accounts, but with a cellphone they can text and exchange money. Instead of having a cash or a bank card they have a phone,” said Davis, a third-year sociology student at UVic.

The project began when one of Davis’ teachers asked for help after a trip to Africa.

“I was taking a sociology course called ‘An Intro to Africa.’ The professor asked if any of us would collect cellphones for him to take to villages as life lines. We put a team of six students together and in no time we had collected a ton of phones. We got such great feedback from people that I decided to carry on.”

In fact, Africa Calling as a class project was so successful that Camosun College adapted it into a full-fledged sociology course, Service Learning and Global Issues, in 2013.

The advantage of the course is its “real-world” teaching style, Davis said.

“You take something you are passionate about in life, say photography, and we teach you to apply it to a world issue. Instead of just memorizing information, you’re actually doing something.

“It’s really sad that we could lose (a program) that’s so cutting edge, just because of money. It’s really devastating.”

Africa Calling donation boxes – they look like old English phone booths – are set up at various locations on Camosun College and University of Victoria campuses.

Davis says the phones provide some rural African areas with a lot more than the ability to communicate: they can offer a new lease on life.

“Phones are what (Africans) are asking for. It completely changes their world.”

 

For more information about Africa Calling, visit africacalling.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Access: Greater Victoria non-profit brings the outdoors to people of all abilities

Power To Be’s Adaptive Recreation Program allows people of all ages and abilities to get outside

Black Press Media celebrates women who are making a difference

Helping others is the cornerstone of the work Shannon Drew does in… Continue reading

Goldstream Food Bank on the search to fill Christmas Hampers with toys

Volunteers are looking for new toys for infants to 11-year-olds

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read