World Vision brings Internet access and online education to Ukrainian families fleeing the conflict
Multiplying the impact of refugee support through effective collaboration
World Vision has installed the first of many Portable Connectivity Centers for Ukrainian refugees thanks to a donation of these Centers from the Geeks Without Frontiers led N50 Project
Ukraine refugee numbers have now hit 5 million, with an additional 7 million displaced in the country, and hundreds of thousands without electricity or connectivity
Agencies are working together to bring these Connectivity Centers to Ukrainian families in Romania, Moldova, and inside Ukraine itself.
BUCHAREST (April 27, 2022) — As refugees from Ukraine continue to stream across borders in search of help and hope, international humanitarian organization World Vision is delivering pop-up Portable Connectivity Centers that work like modern Internet cafes for families affected by the conflict.
World Vision is working with a coalition of partners through the N50 Project to bring the Centers to families who have had to flee or lost connectivity due to the conflict. The Centers are designed to provide essential power, technology devices, connectivity and services.
Access to the Connectivity Centers comes as an estimated 5 million people have fled Ukraine making it the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II.
The Connectivity Centers, built in easily transportable containers, can charge numerous devices at a time, provide a powerful Wi-Fi hotspot, and include a range of laptops, tablets, and smartphones that children can use to catch up on their education. Parents can also access vital information about nearby resources, including shelter, food, water, clothing and more.
“When I visited the Ukrainian border, I saw firsthand how desperate refugees were for reliable technology connectivity, both to reach loved ones back at home and to find information to carry them forward on their journey,” said Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision’s president and chief executive officer. “We are so blessed to partner with the N50 Project to fill this critical need.”
N50 is donating ten Connectivity Centers and World Vision is working on the deployment of these including the possibility of placing some of the containers inside conflict-affected areas of Ukraine itself, as well as refugee centers and on transit routes served by World Vision. The first Connectivity Center was delivered Thursday, April 21 to the RomExpo center in Bucharest, Romania’s largest convention facility, which has been converted to a temporary overflow refugee shelter.
RomExpo has become a hub for refugees in Bucharest, with over 1000 refugees visiting the shelter in a single day last weekend. World Vision is a key donor to the sprawling shelter, providing well over $130,000 in essential supplies including diapers, sterilizers and food, as well as providing a child play corner with weekly children’s entertainment.
“We are so pleased to join forces with World Vision to further assist refugee families, and are especially passionate about continuing to place these containers where there is the greatest need,” said David Hartshorn, CEO, Geeks Without Frontiers and N50 Project lead. “The beauty of the connectivity centers is they can go anywhere and run off of solar or generators in places – like cities destroyed by the conflict – where normal services aren’t working. The connectivity center at RomExpo is just the start of an ambitious partnership.”
About World Vision: World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA. With a presence in Romania for more than three decades, World Vision’s locally-led team was able to respond to the Ukraine crisis immediately after the conflict began. It has also been responding to the refugee crisis at, and close to border crossings, with water, food and hygiene kits, child play areas as well as heaters to the mother-and-child rest stations.
About N50 Project: N50 is the Geeks Without Frontiers led initiative that is focused on the next 50% of the planet that does not fully digitally participate. The N50 partners’ primary focus is to launch projects for marginalized communities using best-practice playbooks for long-term delivery of ICT solutions. N50 is an open, inclusive ecosystem that is fueling transformation in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Our live ‘Digital Participation’ projects in the field are designed to enable communities to access the education, health, social and financial benefits that flow from affordable and sustainable digital inclusion. For more information, please visit www.n50project.org or on Twitter @n50project.
About Geeks Without Frontiers: Geeks Without Frontiers is an award-winning platform for global impact. A technology neutral nonprofit, Geeks’ mission is to bring the benefits of broadband connectivity – health, education, poverty reduction, gender equality, and the other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) – to the estimated 3.9 billion people who remain unconnected. For more information, please visit www.geekswf.org or on Twitter @GeeksWF.
View the official World Vision Press Release here
Photo 1: Staff from World Vision, Computer Aid and Geeks Without Frontiers set up a Portable Connectivity Container at RomExpo in Bucharest, Romania. The PCC will enable refugees who visit RomExpo to access fast internet so that they can access important information and services, plan their journey to other European countries and connect with loved ones who are still in Ukraine. Photo Owner: Geeks Without Frontiers ©
Photo 2: Geeks Without Frontiers' CEO David Hartshorn and Director of Innovative Tech Joe Simmons stand with the Portable Connectivity Container at the RomExpo in Bucharest, Romania. Photo Owner: Geeks Without Frontiers ©