Supporting Refugees: It Takes a Village

Supporting Refugees: It Takes a Village

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Frank Schott

Editor's Note: Frank Schott is the managing director of global programs at NetHope. This post was previously published on NetHope's website as part of a series commemorating World Refugee Day.

Over the years, NetHope, UNHCR and many international and local nonprofit organizations have been working to support families that have been forced to flee their homes for safety in neighboring countries. As part of our series commemorating World Refugee Day, we would like to recognize the amazing support that NetHope has received from the tech sector, bi-laterals and foundations. We are grateful for the spotlight that is being put on refugees and the organizations that serve them.

Here at NetHope, we know none of our efforts would be possible without the generous donations of cash, product, and expertise from our partners. Here are just a few examples:

Microsoft Corporation has made software donations to NetHope member organizations working in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. These software donations helped NGOs build capacity, operate in a more secure data environment and deliver educational programs to refugees.

Cisco has stepped up with Meraki equipment donations to support the buildout of Wi-Fi and charging station solutions in Greece. In addition, Cisco volunteers have donated hundreds of hours supporting the development of flexible system architectures for deployment at refugee settlements in Greece. has been another generous supporter through NetHope’s Project Reconnect in Germany and with refugee connectivity in Greece. Googlers have also volunteered for several NetHope missions to Greece supporting NetHope technical deployments and communications outreach. Project Reconnect is in full swing and seeks to support over 500,000 refugees in Germany with education, job skills training, and German language learning.

And last week, we announced that Facebook, Cisco and The Patterson Foundation have provided additional funding to address connectivity with new refugee settlements in Greece. Eutelsat has donated 20-plus portable satellite terminals to support refugee connectivity in the hardest to reach locations. Microsoft, Tableau, and Cisco have supported various NetHope Crisis Informatics programs that have given NetHope and its member NGOs more timely and accurate data for decision making.

NetHope, NetHope members, and NetHope supporters are not alone. We are grateful for the teamwork we see in the field with organizations like UNHCR, IOM, Vodafone, TSF, various governments, and others working in the region. We look forward to continued collaboration as we work to support refugees.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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