Indeed, these are just my opinions, discarding them shall not cause me any offence. This ofc would be unwise IMHO, but I'm not fussed either way. I'm not the one with problems in this area. I've definitely had experience of "lower income", and am well aware how such things operate. As mentioned, hit the right places at the right times you can get the right prices: ie free - but to be honest, one of the best resources in urbanised areas is junkies. They'll be everywhere and have everything not nailed down commonly - and prepared to sell most things for a tenner. You'd possibly be amazed at what equipment I've had in days gone past that was simply discarded - fully working - picked up by junkie and delivered to my door for a tenner. However, there's an incredibly different environment in terms of digital devices now as to even ten years ago - apart from in hyper rural/remote areas and or third world countries - and many of the same rules do not apply. Literally, for what it'd cost you to send an old laptop to me, I could likely find the precise same model for sale at the same cost as P&P, closer, with the keyboard displaying the "right" keymap. Ignoring the fact that getting to this forum means they've likely already got a computer and further ignoring the likes of persistent malware residing in the firmwares to devices spreading between our users - like the microcode in the CPU, BIOS, HD, SATA controller, USB controller, GPU's BIOS, etc - which if the previous owner was a windows user is more than credible, it's not as if they know they're infected ½ the time - and to further ignore factors like unknown abuse factor(Most people don't filter the input to their computers, either, and peaks/troughs in the current effect it over time - and they turn them off, allowing thermal contraction. Repeatedly. Expand/contract»snap.) then it's quite likely to only be of tangible use to those close enough to physically collect, otherwise bang for buck you'll more likely get more bang via alternates. Another thing I have a lot of experience in is wasted time, and have thusly become remarkably effective in avoiding it. That's not to say such an initative is unfeasible, or even has no place, but users of such a resource should be ultimately aware of inherent risks and potentially seek alternates to see if they can get more for less elsewhere. As prevoiusly mentioned, local collection and zero cost is difficult to not be feasible.
For parts... That's fine if the end user is comfy elbows deep inside a PC, knows what an ESD bracelet is etc, but honestly most users want something that works OOTB - hence my suggestion at Pi, all of them are cheap, and thusly within reach for most, and inserting an SD card an HDMI cable n a few USB cables isn't beyond anyone's skillbase really. Slapping in part isn't complex IMHO but when it comes to diagnosing and troubleshooting failures caused by incompatible or intermittently faulty hardware then most users are likely to want to avoid this. If they want to engage in this, I'd suggest they acquire another computer for such so they always have a working computer. It's a lot easier to fix a computer with a computer. Testing rig FTW. By only attempting to operate on known good hardware - ie: new in box, under warrenty - you are afforded a greater chance of actually retaining productive use. Having built a countless mutts over the years and even once a computer out of scrap left after my equipment was confiscated as forensic evidence and running it in a jaffa cake box for a few months whilst secure and reliable hardware was located does leave me in a postion to talk highly of the virtues of reliable computers(even that was reliable, unless you moved it). And if it's not reliable, something somewhere is seriously wrong.
My comments with getting more use out of older hardware was in view that to get to the forum it's likely they already have a computer and seek "upgrade". Instead of abandoning their existing hardware, it's likely "better" use can result in increased performances enough to mitigate the requirement for replacements. A least effort, least cost, maximum impact solution.
Skype is remote control - it's just rarely engaged and the users are not supposed to be able to get near the server side exploits like that. It does far more than share the screen, and to more than the person(s) you intend. It's really not a safe technology to entertain. There are secure solutions. It's not the concept of the education that draws disfavour but the tools and techniques proposed are inherently unsafe, and promotion of is frankly irresponsible. Ironically so in a proposal to improve technological access and usages.