Google has made a $5.3 million grant available to support the launch of Project Reconnect. This is a program which helps refugees in Germany by supporting organisations on the frontline of providing essential humanitarian relief. Non-profit organisations can now apply for up to 5,000 Google Chromebooks each. Such netbooks are seen as a vital asset for the long-term challenges refuges will face and allow them easier access to general education, language learning apps, and legal information, for example.
Writing on the official Google Blog, Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org (the firm's charitable arm), explained "As they make it through a dangerous journey, the first thing refugees need is to find shelter, food and access to care. But soon enough, they have to learn the local language, acquire skills to work in a new country, and figure out a way to continue their studies—all in an effort to reclaim and reconnect with the lives they had before."
Google thinks that its Chromebooks will be a great asset to refugees as they "have proven to be a good fit for education purposes". The blog suggests that the non-profit organisations that end up distributing the hardware can configure the Chromebooks to offer relevant programs, content and materials depending on the situation that particular refugees find important to them. As mentioned in the intro, that might be educational - to help the refugees live comfortably in their new country, or legal - perhaps concerning the asylum process.
Organisations won't see actual cash in this offer from Google; any non-profit in Germany can apply for up to 5,000 Chromebooks and there are a total of 25,000 up for grabs. Google will show preference 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," suggests the NetHope site.