Google donates 25,000 laptops to refugees
Earlier this week, Google.org announced a $5.3 million grant to a German nonprofit organization that provides technology and education for refugees, according to the Huffington Post.
In thanks to the grant, 25,000 Chromebooks will go to various German nonprofits that are supporting refugees, specifically those migrating from Middle East and European countries.
Google Communications Manager Roya Soleimani told the Huffington Post that there has been a major break in refugees’ lives in terms of access to education. She points out that many refugees were actually educated in their home counties but have had to start over again after their move to Europe.
Google.org first worked with NetHope last fall when it raised over $5 million for humanitarian relief for refugees in the Middle East and Europe. Now it wants to expand its efforts to include education and schooling for resettled refugees. The Chromebooks help make a big step in the right direction.
The Chromebooks are lightweight laptops that run exclusively on Google Chrome and use cloud storage instead of traditional software. The models Google donated are “managed” Chromebooks which means they can be programmed for specific uses.
The director of Google. org, Jacquelline Fuller, shared in a blog post that the devices can be set up by any nonprofit organization to target the population they are working alongside.
The need to facilitate education through technology became apparent to Soleimani last fall. She shares that dozens of Google employees volunteered on the refugee path from Middle East to Europe. Google created Wifi hubs along the path but it wanted to provide longer lasting support for education in refugees’ new homes.
Soleimani tells HuffPost that many refugees did have smartphones and used the Internet for their education, but things changed when they migrated. Her hope is that NetHope will get them back on their feet.
Nonprofits that work with refugees in Germany can apply to receive Chromebooks through NetHope’s website effective through February 8.