Bruno, 13, is digitalizing the Sahel

In many parts of the world, talented and ambitious young people face a gigantic threshold keeping them out of higher education: Poverty.

In Nakamtenga, those youngsters must overcome a most concise hurdle: In order to be allowed into post-secondary education, Burkina Faso demands that every student has access to a computer.

But how can anyone fulfill such a prerequisite in rural Sahel? The answer is 13-year old Bruno Hjorth in Tullinge south of Stockholm.

He learnt about Nakamtenga from a class mate, whose mother happens to be Stina Berge. And he came up with an idea:

– I love computers! I have learnt a lot on my own, working with and trying to improve and repair them. And I thought – why do I not fix broken ones for people in Nakamtenga who cannot afford to buy their own?

Bruno suggested his mother to introduce the idea through an appeal at a Facebook group named “Alla som älskar Tullinge” (All those who love Tullinge) around New Year. She called for old and broken equipment of all kind which "... my son then can dismantle and combine parts into functioning computers. Once rebuilt, these will be sent to a Yennenga Progress...”

– So far, I have been able to deliver 20 laptops, 10 screens and 3-4 stationary computers, Bruno says.

But... HOW?? You are only in grade 7!!

– Well, it has been a bit tricky, you have to test your way forward. Some of these devices you could not start so I had to detect why.

– Bruno’s initiative is amazing! Not only is he securing access to computers for senior students, he also demonstrates the benefits with recycling of resources, says Secretary General Stina Berge

– The equipment will be used by our administration at different sectors of the project and within our specific IT-activities. Bruno has installed new programmes and the computers are ready for use. We plan to send a container with various goods to Burkina Faso in August.

Stina also believes he has set an example for others that we all can make a difference.

– Since so many of us stay at home these days, maybe people will have time to find other gadgets which innovative and capable persons like Bruno can repair for recycling.