Technology Creates Opportunity

In the past few years, the world and especially Europe has been facing a dire refugees crisis. In 2015 alone, more than one million people sought refuge in Germany. In 2016 and 2017, German authorities and non-profit organizations have made considerable efforts to house and process a large number of asylum seekers. The refugees now face a new challenge: to build a new life, learn a new language and integrate into their new communities.

Breaking Down Communication Silos

Speexx has joined these efforts recently by supporting NetHope, an initiative that empowers committed organizations to change the world through the power of technology. NetHope and Google.org have recently launched Project Reconnect, which aims at distributing 25,000 Chromebooks to non-profit organizations working towards supporting social and economical integration of refugees in Germany. By facilitating access to the internet, technology and information, NetHope helps refugees to rebuild their lives.

The laptops made available by Google.org are accessible at public libraries, adult education centers, community and youth centers and other educational facilities in more than 900 locations throughout Germany. Vital components of the support program are vocational and language training aimed to help refugees learn German, find a job and enroll into a vocational training program.

Fostering Language Skills for Integration

Speexx has joined other language skills training providers  like the Goethe Institut by offering access to cloud-based courses, which learners have commenced using . The training courses can be accessed by the individual learner to improve their knowledge of the German language, grammar, and vocabulary and prepare for job interviews and job situations. Several NetHope organizations have already started the introduction phase to the Speexx language program in order for them to fully support the learners during the initial stages of the program.

Download the press release Speexx partners with NetHope press release.

A new Opportunity through Technology

The Chromebooks made available through the NetHope initiative have already started changing lives. One of the stories shared by NetHope is that of Daham who in December 2016 received the opportunity to undergo an internship at KFZ Schmidt, a small car repair shop. The Geman language was a real challenge for him, in particular verbal communication.

By being allowed to borrow one of the laptops, Daham was able to practice his language skills via the internet as well as to prepare for his driver’s test. While he had previously attended language classes irregularly, keeping a balance between study and work was difficult. The Chromebook made it possible for him to study at home, making real progress that the team and KFZ Schmidt also noticed. Daham has since been granted a full-time apprenticeship as a car mechanic at KFZ Schmidt.

About NetHope

Since 2001, NetHope has grown to represent over 50 international non-profits, each of which contributes their expertise and resources to our greater mission and vision to change the world through the power of technology and collaboration. NetHope provides each member with services, programs, shared knowledge and collaboration opportunities that enrich and deepen their respective missions. For organizations working with refugees in Germany, Project Reconnect provides a content discovery page with recommendations for online courses and educational sites; refugee portals; employment resources; and other relevant websites: Reconnect.nethope.org/resources.

For more information on NetHope, please visit http://nethope.org

For more information on Project Reconnect, please visit http://nethope.org/project/project-reconnect/

About the Author:

Marije Nieuwenhuis is Senior PR Manager at Speexx. She holds an MA in Business Communications from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and has lived and worked abroad for more than a decade working within international teams. Marije has worked in the fields of international PR, promotional marketing, B2B promotions and events, and project management.