In 2015, more than one million people sought refuge in Germany as they fled war and persecution in their home countries. After arriving, these refugees faced new challenges: learning a new language, settling into new communities, and resuming education and work.
NetHope and Google.org believe that access to internet resources can play an important role in connecting refugees to their new communities. With support from Google.org, NetHope launched Project Reconnect, an initiative that provided 25,000 managed Chromebooks to nonprofit organizations supporting refugees in Germany. The Chromebooks are web-based laptops, that can be centrally administered. The interface is based on the familiar Chrome browser and is easy to use, even for those new to computers. The initiative aimed to help refugees rebuild their lives by facilitating access to education and information resources on the web.
The initiative was initially designed as an emergency response to help scale language learning and integration training efforts of nonprofits and to address the information needs of the arriving refugees. However, by 2017, most refugees and asylum seekers had transitioned into smaller group or family homes, and many of the grantees/nonprofits had to reshape their Chromebook initiatives to adapt to the changing needs of the refugees they support.
Note: Project Reconnect is currently in the final Monitoring & Evaluation phase. NetHope will update this Implementation Guide shortly.