Article

Digital skills give refugee children a springboard to the future

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  • By Izabela Bajalska, Save the Children
  • November 27, 2017
Digital skills give refugee children a s
“When I grow up, I would like to become a doctor,” says 15-year-old Jasmine.

Eisenhüttenstadt is a small, unassuming town on the German-Polish border and it currently hosts about 200 refugee children and their families. These children, who have been exposed to risks and dangers during  their journey to Europe that no child should ever experience, have found the first semblance of peace and routine in the gray barracks of the town. Until the authorities decide where to transfer the resident families, the barracks are the next best thing to a home – or, at least, a temporary springboard from which to prepare for the future.

“When I grow up, I would like to become a doctor,” says 15-year-old Jasmine. (Editor’s note: Children’s names have been changed to protect their identities.) “I know that this will be very hard for me, studying in a language I will first have to learn from scratch. But I will try my best and every schooling in German helps.” For now, Jasmine can concentrate on her German classes at the locally integrated school in the refugee accommodation.

Recently, Jasmine began taking another class on how to use a computer and how to safely browse the internet. Although smart phones are already an integral part of many children’s lives and often a lifeline along migration routes, some children like Jasmine have not yet had the opportunity to work with a computer. “I have been using my phone to access social media. But I never thought much about protecting my privacy online. In my school in Cameroon there were also computer classes in the afternoons, but I never had the time to take them, since I had to look after my younger siblings,” she recalls.

This new course, which Save the Children began offering at the refugee housing complex in June 2017, uses Google Chromebooks donated by NetHope as part of Project Reconnect.

Read the full story at the NetHope Blog.