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What is Project Reconnect?

In 2015, more than one million people sought refuge in Germany, fleeing war and persecution in their home countries. Now they face new challenges: learning a new language, settling into new communities, resuming education and work. 

NetHope and Google.org believe that access to Internet resources is key to connecting refugees to their new communities. With the support from Google.org, NetHope launched Project Reconnect: an initiative providing 25,000 managed Chromebooks to nonprofit organizations supporting refugees in Germany. The project aims to help refugees as they strive to rebuild their lives, by facilitating access to education and information resources on the web.  

What are managed Chromebooks?

Chromebooks are web-based laptops. The interface based on the familiar Chrome browser will be easy to use even for those new to computers. 

Managed Chromebooks can be centrally administered by the staff of non-profit organizations. The Google Admin Console allows organizations to preconfigure settings and to custom design the user experience by distributing changes, updates, tools and content remotely to all their managed Chromebooks. 

How can organizations use Chromebooks? 

Managed Chromebooks combined with Internet access allow refugees to access information, assistance and educational opportunities and can be used in transitional housing projects, classrooms, counseling centers, youth programs and many other situations. Here are a few ideas of projects nonprofits may consider:

  • Enhance educational opportunities with the use of Chromebooks in classroom and training situations.
  • Provide a self-service information kiosk by securing a Chromebook in an accessible location.
  • Organize children’s activities with appropriate educational games.
  • Create an Internet café-like environment to allow refugees to connect with friends and family and access assistance information. 

These scenarios and many more are possible with managed Chromebooks which allow organizations to provide a rich computing platform; all with minimal need for on-site IT intervention, maintenance and support. The Project Reconnect Grant Program invited nonprofits working with refugees in Germany to propose project ideas for the use of managed Chromebooks in their programs. 

Project Reconnect News

March 20, 2016 The NetHope Project Reconnect team has received a large number of high quality applications from organizations across Germany. We are reading every application and we are impressed with the creativity, compassion and quality of the proposals we receive.

NetHope has already nominated the first organizations that are awarded Chromebooks. Due to the large volume of candidates, we have not been able to give adequate time to every applicant yet. We ask for your patience while we continue to review the applications. 

Sincerely,

NetHope - Project Reconnect Team