Yannick Tanda: Collecting Computers For Those In Need

Yannick Tanda: Collecting Computers For Those In Need

As a safety officer, Yannick Tanda is a common sight within our school; he is well known and loved by students. Along with patrolling the halls, he has always aspired to make a change. Tanda is in the process of creating a nonprofit computer lab for high school and college students in the Congo.

Last year, when Tanda visited the Congo’s capital city, Kinshasa, he noticed children could not afford their own computers to complete work for school.

“I saw so many kids who really loved technology but don’t have access to it,” Tanda said.

While an administrative assistant at Gunston Middle School, Tanda started to develop on his idea. He hoped to create a space for Congolese schoolchildren to work on homework with the use of technology. After buying a computer, he began collecting old computers from his coworkers at Gunston. Tanda contacted engineers he knew and paid to clean up the used computers, and late last June, he flew out to set up the computer lab. It has yet to be completed, but Tanda expects to fill it with 25-30 computers.

“They were so happy, but I wish that I could do more,” Tanda said.

As a fellow Congolese, Tanda understands the economic struggles that children in the Congo face. 64% of Congolese live in poverty, so it is not a surprise that many parents cannot afford computers for their kids. Tanda does not ask for payment for his actions. He pays out of pocket for the instructor, who is there if any of the students need help, and the computer lab’s rent.

“I love helping others. I don’t like to see other people suffer in front of me. I can’t stand that,” Tanda said.

This is not the only instance of Tanda contributing to his community. After seeing how crowded school classrooms were in his birth country, Tanda bought upwards of 50 chairs for the school.

“I tell them, ‘just know there’s some people, somewhere around the world, who think about you guys. Don’t give up, and … when you become somebody in life, help the next person,’” Tanda said.

It is clear how many lives Tanda has touched, and with your help, he can reach more. If you have any tablets, laptops or computers that you or your family no longer uses, stop by Room 249 to drop them off and can contribute to Tanda’s efforts.

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Lily Dezfulian
Lily Dezfulian, Illustrator
Lily Šekarić Dezfulian is a junior entering her second year on staff. Besides playing for the Yorktown Ultimate Frisbee team, Lily rock climbs and plays volleyball and basketball outside of school. She continues her epic battle against the Montenegrin language and its seven cases. Her favorite book is I Who Have Never Known Men and she enjoys sketching strangers.

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