Haute 100: Google Donates More Than $5M to Give Refugees Access to Chromebooks

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Today, Google announces that it is donating $5.3 million to put Google Chromebooks in the hands of refugees. The multinational tech company that specializes in Internet-related service and products will launch a Google.org grant to support the launch of Project Reconnect, a program by NetHope to equip nonprofits working with refugees in Germany with Chromebooks, in order to facilitate easier access to education for refugees.

The announcement was made via a blog post by Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org. According to Fuller, the Chromebook “have proven to be a good fit for education purposes. They can be easily set up to run education or language learning apps. They’re automatically kept up to date with the latest features, apps and virus protection. And they can be configured and managed by a central administrator (in this case the nonprofits) to offer relevant programs, content and materials depending on the situation. For example, they can run an educational game for children, a language course for younger adults or even feature information about the asylum application process on a pre-installed homepage.”

The starting price for a Chromebook is $149.

Nonprofits that work with refuges in Germany can apply for the program. Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate the impact that Chromebooks with Internet access will have in providing direct assistance to refugees, and facilitating access to critical programs and resources.

Program ideas that will be considered, but not limited to are:

  • Set up a language learning center by running web-based language resources in full-screen mode.
  • Provide a self-service information kiosk by securing a Chromebook in an accessible location.
  • Organize children’s activities with appropriate educational games.
  • Enhance educational opportunities with the use of Chromebooks in classroom and training situations.
  • Create an Internet café-like environment to allow refugees to connect with friends and family and access assistance information.

The application process begins with an expression of interest in the project, due by Feb.8th. Distribution of the first round of Chromebooks begins on March 1. Second round applications are due by March 8. For more information regarding the application process, see the Grant Program Announcement and Guidance.

Photo via NetHope