Got an old smartphone lying around? It could transform a refugee’s life.
Refugee Phones is an initiative that encourages people and organisations to donate their old smartphones to refugees and migrants.
It has delivered more than 6,000 smartphones since its launch in Sweden a year ago — and is in the middle of a big push ahead of the planned demolition of the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais.
So why do this? Europe’s current migrant crisis is the largest since the Second World War, but from those in previous generations in one crucial way: Technology.
Smartphones are giving the hundreds of thousands of displaced people making their way across the continent access to maps, information, contact details, photos, and more.
They’re often the most valuable possession that refugees and migrants own — and aid workers have worked to provide people with charging points and Wi-Fi access alongside traditional essentials like food, water, and shelter.
But not everyone has access to these devices — making it far more difficult for them to stay in touch with loved ones and navigate independently. That’s where organisations like Refugee Phones comes in.