08 Junio 2017 11:37
Find out how you can help refugees who need internet on their mobile phones
Is there a way to improve connectivity and communications for refugees?
We want to make people aware of work done by Phone Credit for Refugees, an English volunteer organisation founded in late 2015. The group acts as an intermediary between money donors and refugees or displaced people in certain European countries and Lebanon, topping up their mobile phones with minutes and data.
To find out more about this organisation, you can access their page on MyDonate, a crowdfunding platform for British organisations. The service is safe and easy to use.
Who will receive the top-ups from donations made through Phone Credit for Refugees?
Today, Phone Credit for Refugees helps refugees and displaced people living in France, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Hungary and Serbia.
How would you feel if you were cut off from the world around you? If you were forced to give up the opportunities the Internet offers in a globalised world?
The intention of PlayGround Do in this campaign is to focus on the importance of connectivity for the more than 65 million refugees and forcibly displaced people who are currently living far from their homes.
When we think about refugees, we imagine a devastated people doing what they can to survive, with nothing but the humanitarian aid given to them by NGOs. Who would imagine that, besides more obvious basic needs, a smartphone could be essential for a refugee?
Reality has shown us that new technologies are not an indulgence, but a vital and strategic instrument for so many people who have been forced to abandon their homes without warning.
Having no means to communicate and no way of accessing them in a context of extreme vulnerability is one of the factors that most affects refugees’ mental health. With no access to updated news on their countries of origin or their host countries, they are unable to make informed decisions on how to improve their lives.
'Connectivity allows them to carry on telling the world who they are and build their lives. It’s a need, not an indulgence.'
Families that have been separated, with only a mobile phone to maintain contact; women who use the GPS to negotiate unknown routes; children who can continue their education despite having left behind their schools thanks to access to interactive courses on tablets; young people who take photographs of themselves to show their friends what they’re proud of; activists who use photos to tell the story of what is happening; men and women who break through language barriers thanks to a click.
Connectivity allows them to carry on telling the world who they are and to build their lives. It’s a need, not an indulgence. After being ravaged by brutality, violence and injustice, keeping contact, recycling knowledge or reporting an injustice is a fundamental need for these people’s mental and emotional health. The Internet is not just about surviving in an unknown and hostile world, but also offers independence, a private space, safety and empathy.
Giving connectivity to refugees arriving in a foreign city or ensuring its availability for those who are still on their way must be a priority.