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 user 2007-04-03 at 10:04:00 am Views: 74
  • #17441

    Recycled printer cartridges aid Ugandans in need
    community meeting house was built in the Acholi Quarter in the Banda
    district of Kampala, Uganda, with the money Project Have Hope raised
    last year.

    2007–Three large boxes sit in the office of Anna Ciulla, chairperson
    of UD’s Department of Medical Technology, waiting to be mailed out to
    two recycling companies. Sixty cartridges are in the boxes, a $150
    profit for Project Have Hope, a nonprofit organization that raises
    money for the families of the Acholi Quarter in the Banda district of
    Kampala, Uganda.

    Ciulla began collecting cartridges after
    learning about the experience her niece Karen Sparacio had during a
    two-week photography workshop in Uganda. Ciulla said Sparacio was so
    moved by the poverty of the families there that she began Project Have
    Hope upon her return to the United States. Project Have Hope was
    originally organized to help 100 women and their families. Sparacio and
    20 volunteers from different states began collecting used ink and laser
    cartridges from printers and recycling them to pay for the school fees
    for Acholi children. Ciulla said they were able to send 32 children to
    school this year with the money they raised, paying for books,
    uniforms, towels and mattresses for children going to boarding
    school.“What we’re trying to do is enhance the lives of these people,”
    Ciulla said. “Giving them an education is the best way to help
    them.”The organization also has helped develop cooperative businesses
    for the Acholi people, including a peanut butter business and a chicken
    farm. Using loans, the Acholi women have created their own businesses,
    such as vegetable stands and cafes to begin making money within their
    village.Ciulla supports her niece’s organization by collecting printer
    cartridges at the University. In her office, Ciulla collects,
    identifies and packages the cartridges to send to recycling companies.
    The companies pay from 50 cents to 15 dollars for the cartridges,
    Ciulla said, and in 2006 she made $4,000 from UD cartridges
    alone.Ciulla said the University mailroom also helps collect laser
    cartridges and brings them to her office. “It’s a very nice gesture on
    the part of the mailroom to help with this project,” Ciulla said.
    said Uganda has been engulfed in a civil war for more than 20 years.
    Families are fleeing the north to save their children from being taken
    as soldiers, Ciulla said, and are becoming refugees in the south with
    no means to provide for themselves. “We are trying to help them help
    themselves by recycling cartridges,” Ciulla said. “It’s an easy way to
    do something with cartridges that would normally be thrown
    out.”Sparacio also sells the beads Acholi women make out of recycled
    paper and lacquer. The profits from the beads go directly to the women
    to support them and their families, to start local businesses and to
    help pay part of their children’s school fees. Ciulla said the beads
    are sold in stores in New Jersey and Massachusetts and at Gecko
    Fashions at 146 East Main St. in Newark. Ciulla also has sold the paper
    beads locally and makes them available for the UD community.Ciulla said
    students, staff and faculty can send their ink-jet cartridges to her
    office in envelopes through campus mail, which does not require
    postage. She said people also can help by selling the beads at craft
    events or by hosting beadware parties.By improving the lives of some of
    the Acholi people, Ciulla said she and Sparacio are hoping those helped
    will reach out to help others.

    Project Have Hope helped send 32
    Ugandan children to school this year.“If we can get these children
    educated, they will be better off,” she said. “If we can maintain this
    momentum with 100 people, perhaps we can grow to help 100 more.”To send
    ink-jet cartridges, place in an envelope and send to Ciulla at 305
    Willard Hall Education Building. For more information about the beads
    and cartridges, e-mail [aciulla@udel.edu]. For more information about
    the organization, visit [www.projecthavehope.org.