Computer technician keeps old hardware out of local landfills, into hands of African schoolchildren

PORT TOWNSEND — In Jefferson County, Malick Sow is recognized as keeping computer waste out of landfills.

In the West African country of Senegal, he is contributing to schoolchildren.

The 52-year-old Port Townsend resident, computer software and hardware technician and owner of Computer.Fix accepts old computers when his customers replace them.

“They often ask me what do I do with it, and I tell them I will take it,” Sow said.

He then restores and packages the old computers, sending them off to his native Senegal.

Besides restoring the equipment on his own time, he pays hundreds of dollars to ship computers to needy African children.

The Jefferson County Board of Health certified Sow’s operation as a “green business” last week.

Environmental Health Specialist Anita Hicklin said in a letter to the board that Sow “is working on becoming a leader in the community, and is working on ways to develop new ways to protect the environment while doing business.”

Sow — a computer technician for 17 years who has served more than 300 customers out of his office at 260 Kala Point Drive — said he applied for the green business certification award, was interviewed by Hicklin.

Sow has restored and sent off 12 fully equipped Mac and PC computers so far. He said he plans to continue his service to needy children as often as he can.

Giving the computers a second life keeps them out of the landfill.

“It is just my desire to help those in need,” he said. “They are so happy to receive them and they are so very, very poor. They really appreciate it.”

It gives the children Internet access and the ability to use computer programs that help with their homework.

Sow, who specializes in computer networking solutions, knows hardship first-hand.

Seeking new opportunities in his field, he first moved from Senegal with his family to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but in October 2005, Hurricane Wilma battered the city for more than a week, destroying his home.

He spoke to friends living in the Port Townsend area after the storm and relocated to start his business.

He moved his family to Port Townsend in March 2006.

Computer.Fix, with a Web site at, provides professional grade technology solutions for Port Townsend-area businesses and residents.

Sow can be contacted at 360-385-6166 or 360-554-8075.


Port Townsend-Jefferson County Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at

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