Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day. The UN High Commission for Refugees is encouraging everyone to do one thing to support the refugee cause.
As an individual it might mean making a donation, attending an event or volunteering to help.
At Ericsson we support the refugee cause through our partnership with Refugees United and UNHCR, on a unique initiative which uses mobile phones to register and search for loved ones separated by conflict and disaster on an anonymous database.
And today, we’ve taken it one step further with the launch of the Refugees United Android app.
You might ask how relevant an Android app is to the refugee population. The service is also available via sms and mobile-enabled browser (WAP) for lower end phones, and that has been a very successful method of registering many living in refugee camps. But there are also many millions of resettled refugees in the US, Europe and around the world who are still separated from family yet have access to smart phones and the Android market. The UNHCR 2010 Global Trends report which was issued today, states that more than half of the 43 million refugees live in urban areas. This is why we are also collaborating with operators to support the service across the African continent and across other continents not only in camps but through city capitals, in stores and other distribution points.
We talk a lot about the Networked Society and all of its possibilities. I can’t think of a better way to build the foundation of a networked society than actively promoting Technology for Good. In this case, reconnecting families.
Visit our World Refugee Day page to learn more about the refugee cause, and how technology is working as a force for good and how you can help.