1 thing

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.

Written by Elaine Weidman

Elaine Weidman Grunewald is Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Ericsson. She joined Ericsson in 1998, and she is responsible for a number of public private partnerships which explore the use of Technology for Good, i.e. the use Ericsson’s core technology to solve some of the world’s most compelling challenges and help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals , including the Millennium villages, Connect to Learn, and Refugees United. She is a leading advocate of Technology for Good and represents Ericsson in a number of external fora including the Broadband Commission for Digital Development and the United Nations Global Compact.

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