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Google Is Doing This to Help Refugees

January 27, 2016, 8:14 PM UTC
Inside The Google Chromebook Store
An employee demonstrates a Samsung Electronics Co. Chromebook laptop in the Google Inc. sales area at a Currys and PC World 2 in 1 store, operated by Dixons Retail Plc, on Tottenham Court Road in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. U.K. shop-price inflation slowed in November to the lowest in a year as a supermarket price war curbed food-cost increases, the British Retail Consortium said. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google is making a $5.3 million donation to support the launch of Project Reconnect, a program that will provide non-profit groups with Chromebooks in order to better connect refugees to education and technology resources.

“As they make it through a dangerous journey, the first thing refugees need is to find shelter, food, and access to care,” Jacquelline Fuller, director of, wrote in a blog post. “But soon enough, they have to learn the local language, acquire skills to work in a new country, and figure out a way to continue their studies—all in an effort to reclaim and reconnect with the lives they had before.”

Google (GOOG) hopes that the distribution of Chromebooks will provide refugees with the tools they need to move ahead in their new homes. The Chromebooks can be easily set up to run education or language learning apps, and they can be configured and managed by a central administrator in order to provide relevant programs or content. The central administrators in this context would be the nonprofits, which could provide relevant information to acquaint refugees with local customs, resources, and language lessons.

“For example, they can run an educational game for children, a language course for younger adults or even feature information about the asylum application process on a pre-installed homepage,” wrote Fuller.

Nonprofits can now apply to receive Chromebooks through the initiative.

The multi-million donation is part of Google’s ongoing refugee relief efforts. The tech giant opened up a platform last year for people to donate online to support non-profits working with refugees. A total of $5.5 million was donated in just over 48 hours, and Google matched that total with $5.5 million in grants.