This post was originally published here (The TechSoup Blog)
TechSoup is proud to celebrate World Refugee Day by announcing a new humanitarian project that that we’re doing in Europe and the Middle East. It’s called Refugee Response, and it’s a project in cooperation with Microsoft to respond to the refugee crisis. Refugee Response is an online technology informational resource that provides technology-related support for NGOs that serve refugees.
The Largest Humanitarian Crisis of Our Time
Arguably, the refugee crisis is the largest humanitarian emergency of our time. According to Pew Research Center, more than 60 million people or nearly 1 in every 100 people on earth have been displaced from their homes. That displacement has happened mostly as a result of the wars in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The situation became severe with unprecedented numbers of people seeking asylum after the Syrian conflict got going.
Why NGOs and Humanitarian Workers Need Technology
TechSoup serves NGOs in all of the countries affected by the crisis. Therefore, we’ve begun to concentrate on providing what technology resources we can specifically to the frontline charities directly helping refugees.
According to Reem Talhouk, a doctoral trainee in digital civics at Open Lab in Newcastle University in the U.K., “Technology is already playing a big role in making the work of NGOs and humanitarian workers easier. Technology is being used to improve and streamline the initial needs assessment conducted in the beginning of a crisis or when refugees first enter a country or region.”
What Refugee Response Offers
Refugee Response is a project of TechSoup Europe in Warsaw, Poland. The site is currently in both English and Arabic and is particularly focused on NGOs serving refugees in key affected regions of Europe and the Middle East. The site points NGOs to TechSoup product donations and features how-to and other technology information.
Refugee Response has launched with very basic resources to start with, but it will be developed much further as we better understand the needs of refugee-serving NGOs. The project will continue to build on the existing capabilities, tools, and content available to TechSoup and our partners. It’ll include product donations, educational content, and other high-value resources that are curated and easily accessible.
Microsoft and TechSoup’s Partnership to Address the Refugee Crisis
Microsoft is also working with many other fantastic nonprofit organizations to highlight the experiences of refugee youth. To read more about these remarkable individuals and the organizations supporting them, visit the Microsoft Philanthropies site and learn how we can all help to change their stories.
Our vision is simply to build a community and resource hub to equip more refugee-serving organizations. We want to equip them with technology that can help them respond more quickly and efficiently to the people who need it most. If you would like to contribute to the project, we would love to include your relevant articles on the site. Please send your articles to InternationalPartnerships (at) techsoupglobal (dot) org.