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  • Writer's pictureSue Gowling

Sustainable Tech for refugees

Support for refugees

With the appalling situation in Ukraine causing the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and more than 2.5 million Ukrainians already having fled the conflict to other countries, support for refugees is very much at the forefront of our minds. As the war continues, and Russia seems intent on indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, the humanitarian crisis is only set to worsen.

At Laptops4Learning, we believe that everyone has the right to live in safety and security and to do the best they can for their families. War creates danger and uncertainty that strikes at the heart of family security and stability, and this is made even more desperate when civilians become targets. We cannot begin to imagine what Ukrainian families are experiencing.

It has been heartening to witness the outpouring of support from the public in neighbouring European countries, who are welcoming Ukrainian refugees with open arms, and we are pleased to see that the British Government is finally making its visa application process simpler and has announced a support package for the public to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes once they reach the UK.

At Laptops4Learning, we have already been involved in supporting Afghan and other refugees with tech to help rebuild their lives in the UK, working with councils, Refugee Connections and Citizens:MK to supply both laptops and mobile phones. We have also helped with supplying laptops to the Afghan ladies football team and their families who had to flee from Afghanistan. We will continue this much-needed work, as these requirements persist long after the news focus has passed.

We are currently looking to support Ukrainian refugees with mobile telephones. With families being separated by the war, we see communication as the most pressing tech requirement, to help enable those desperate for news to keep in touch with their loved ones. We will be working with Bedford Rugby Club, who are organising a tech drop-off point for refugees next Saturday, as well as with local charities in Cambridgeshire. We would appeal for companies with redundant tech to get in touch to see how we can help repair and refurbish it to help with this urgent situation. We are hoping to work with Télécoms sans Frontières to get these devices out to where they are most needed.

When the refugees reach the UK, we will look to help in the provision of sustainable laptops and chromebooks to help them rebuild their lives, as we are currently doing for other refugees.

While we feel somewhat helpless in the face of the enormity of what is going on in Ukraine, if we all do our bit to help, it will add up to make a real difference. We must stand in solidarity with those who have been uprooted and whose lives have been thrown into turmoil through no fault of their own.

Sue Gowling ~ - 16/03/22


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