Google has announced that a $5.3 million grant will be put forward to help refugees in Germany “reconnect” with family and loved ones. The plan is to do this by equipping non-profit organizations with Chromebooks—laptops that use apps that run in the cloud.
The grant comes from Google.org, which is Google’s charitable arm, and it will be part of Project Reconnect—a program by NetHope that seeks to make access to education easier for refugees. NetHope is an organization that is trying to use the power of technology and collaboration to make the world a better place, and the refugee crisis in Syria is a primary focus of right now.
Chromebooks are particularly useful in these sorts of situations, because they do not require an Internet connection in order to run the majority of their cloud-based apps. This means that the equipment is less costly for non-profit organizations to use.
Specifically, NetHope is trying to use technology to help refugees connect with one another and to humanitarian services by providing connectivity options along the migration routes. This looks like cell phone connectivity and charging stations, a central information portal for refugees, and e-learning courses for the children who have been affected.
Connection as a common thread
Staying connected is crucial, both in times of crisis, and on a day-to-day basis. Most of us are so used to the ease of picking up a smartphone and texting a friend, colleague, or family member that it is difficult to imagine what it would be like to lose the power of connection for even an hour.
At MobileDay, we want you to be as well connected as you can be. We also want your connections to be delightfully easy because we know how stressful it can be when you can’t get dialed in. Most of us throw a minor tantrum when we can’t get into our next conference call easily enough, so it is hard to imagine the disconnect that the Syrian refugees feel. The good news is that despite being worlds apart, technology is here to help. Good on Google for stepping up and understanding the importance of connection.