Donating internet access to refugees
04 Nov 2016

For refugees, the world wide web not only provides language lessons and serves as a guidebook to their new home, it connects them with family, friends and companions. Many refugees own a smartphone, but in Germany internet access is often too expensive for them. A donation of €1460 from the staff of Interreg Baltic Sea Region’s Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat will help contribute to overcoming this problem in several German cities.

Susanne Scherrer (4th from left) hands over a donation to Daniel Domscheit-Berg of Asyl im Netz (3rd from left) from staff members of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region’s Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat (© IB.SH / Anna Galyga).

Staff members donated to a fairly new association, Asyl im Netz (‘Asylum in the Net’, www.asyl-in.de). A group of tech volunteers from across Germany has so far equipped refugee shelters in 15 German cities with wi-fi connections.  “We want to solve real-life problems of refugees using technology,” the NGO’s representative Daniel Domscheit-Berg explained when he received the donation in Rostock in October 2016. “We thank Interreg Baltic Sea Region very much and are happy with their support. Our public relations work is only now just starting,” he noted.

The sum was collected from staff members in the Rostock office who had recently received a computer taken out of service. In addition to the monetary donation, Asyl im Netz received 20 flat screen monitors. For refugees in the digital age, computer hardware and internet access are just as necessary as blankets, clothes and toothbrushes.