Finding a Way 25 Equipping Schools with Computers Pursuing an education prompted Wube Kumsa to leave Ethiopia for Japan in 1980, and then for the United States, where he went to college in Virginia to study computers. When he would visit his family in Addis Ababa, he saw himself in the village children. “All I was thinking growing up was how to get out of my country and get an education to support my family,”says Wube, now a Desktop Analyst in Mintz Levin’s IT department in Boston. Wube knew he needed to do something to help schoolchildren in Africa. An idea came to him after he sent his family a computer, so they would not have to travel about 20 miles to an Internet café to receive his e-mails. On his next visit, he saw the village children coming to his family’s house to use the computer and how excited they were to be in front of it. Being a“computer guy,”he knew he could use his knowledge to help equip schools in Africa that either didn’t have computers or didn’t have working ones. Using $2,500 of his own money, he donated a computer system loaded with educational software to his hometown school, which he attended as a child. He configured the system to turn one personal computer into up to 10 workstations for students—something Wube chose to maximize the donation’s impact as well as for its energy-efficiency for the existing infrastructure in Africa. “Essentially, he’s found a way to leverage the charity’s resources to help many more kids,”says attorney Anthony Hubbard. Wanting to do even more, he knew he needed to be able to accept tax-deductible, charitable donations. He turned to the firm’s Pro Bono Committee to help him incorporate—a name he chose to stand for“IT is my dot org”and also to serve as its URL—as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Susan Finegan, Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, and Richard Mintz initiated the pro bono work. Anthony, along with attorneys Christopher Bird and Peter Miller, helped prepare and file articles of incorporation, register the organization in the Commonwealth, and file for federal tax-exempt status. Wube recently sent a fourth computer system over to Africa­ —the first that was funded entirely by donations. So far, the organization has equipped schools in Ethiopia and Gambia, opening up a new world to students. Building Digital Highways Just imagine what we can do. We can help many schools in Africa and change children’s lives with this new technology that costs less and is environmentally friendly. Wube Kumsa Founder, President, and Treasurer Desktop Analyst Mintz Levin