Daily Dispatch, Johnson & Johnson partner with Local Hero for Mandela Day

John Goodrich, left, setting up the computers he repaired for Unathi Secondary School. As part of their Mandela Day Initiative, the Daily Dispatch and Johnson and Johnson partnered with Goodrich to collect and fix computers for the school.
John Goodrich, left, setting up the computers he repaired for Unathi Secondary School. As part of their Mandela Day Initiative, the Daily Dispatch and Johnson and Johnson partnered with Goodrich to collect and fix computers for the school.
Image: SUPPLIED

In honour of Mandela Day, Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson have partnered with 2019 local hero finalist John Goodrich to help those in need.

For more than a decade, Goodrich has been collecting and repairing old or broken computers and donating them to schools and organisations in need.

Goodrich, 69, also trains teachers or technicians to maintain the computers he has donated.

To date, he has repaired and donated more than 1,000 computers.

His latest repair project, in collaboration with the Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson, saw Unathi Senior Secondary School in the Cambridge settlement receive 11 computers.

Dispatch marketing manager Jennilee Peremore-Oliver said: “Johnson & Johnson nominated Unathi High School as a beneficiary.

“They had donated data to the high school, but the school still didn’t have computers, so we at Daily Dispatch called for donations of computers on our print and online platforms, and John Goodrich used his skills, expertise and passion to make the project a reality.”

Johnson & Johnson spokesperson Michelle du Preez said the company had been working with Unathi Senior Secondary School for the past two years.

“Johnson & Johnson, together with FHI 360 and ITEC, is working on a project called ‘Bridge to Employment’.

“This project is about bridging the gap between high school and employment.

“This year is the final year of the programme, but sadly due to Covid-19, we have not been able to have many of the activities that we had planned,” said Du Preez.

“We are very excited that these students can at least get computers to assist them with their studies this year.

“We are very grateful to John Goodrich and the amazing work that he is doing in assisting the community.

“He is an amazing example of what a Local Hero is and what Mandela Day is all about.”

Goodrich said out of the 21 computers Daily Dispatch was able to receive and donate, he had managed to salvage 11 machines for the school.

He plans to continue the project until Unathi Senior Secondary School has at least 30 computers.

“For me, the bottom line is the children, and if I can help them in any way I won’t even think about it, I’ll just do it,” said Goodrich.

The Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson Mandela Day initiative, now in its second year, sees the Dispatch partner with like-minded businesses and organisations to assist two former local heroes.

Peremore-Oliver said the project was started in an effort to support local heroes in helping their communities.

“We want to motivate our heroes while making a difference in the community and we want to inspire our community to do their best to support each other because we have never needed each other more than we do now,” said Peremore-Oliver.

She said Daily Dispatch chose Goodrich’s project in 2020 because of the nature of his efforts and willingness to use his skills to assist those in need.

“The need to have access to a computer and have internet connectivity has never been more important than it is now.

“We need to empower our youth to become comfortable with technology from an early age as this is a requirement in the workplace, especially for their continued development and promotion in the workplace,” said Peremore-Oliver.

“The world is online and we want the youth to be part of those bigger conversations.

“With just one phone call and an explanation of our intention, John [Goodrich] immediately said yes without hesitation.” — DDR 


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