According to UNHCR, there are currently over 245,000 registered Syrian refugees in Iraq, of which approximately 40% of whom are children under18 years of age.
To help reach children affected by the conflict, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has partnered with Iraqi telecommunications operator Asiacell and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to launch a Connect to Learn project in schools in Domiz Refugee Camp, Iraq.
Connect to Learn is a public-private partnership that uses ICT solutions to promote universal access to quality education. The Connect to Learn program has already been deployed in 22 countries, supporting the education of over 70,000 students.
The IRC, a global humanitarian aid and relief organization, works in close collaboration with Ericsson—the lead technology partner—and Asiacell to support the professional development of teachers in schools for refugee children in northern Iraq. This project is funded in part by the United States Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) along with in-kind support from Ericsson and Asiacell.
Ericsson’s cloud-based ICT platform, Connect to Learn, is accessed through 3G internet provided by Asiacell, providing teachers access to resources that help them learn how to better meet the complex needs of conflict-affected children and aims to improve children’s learning outcomes. Through this technology, teachers have access to comprehensive teacher training materials that have been developed or curated by the IRC, which are aimed at helping teachers to create safe, quality learning environments. Teachers will also be able to use the technology to connect to each other to share strategies and resources across partner schools.
David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee, says: “The powerful combination of the IRC’s operational expertise, Ericsson’s enhanced Connect to Learn platform and Asiacell’s connectivity has great potential to provide teachers in the Middle East with enhanced educational resources that aid their development and thereby the development of their students. ”
Ericsson has provided training on the Connect to Learn platform to the core IRC team, and continues to give technical advice and support relating to project set-up, monitoring and evaluation. In support of the project, Asiacell has improved connectivity in the Domiz camp. The IRC is training teachers in the use of the technology and providing access to curated content.
Zring Faruk, Chief Commercial Officer, Asiacell, says: “Asiacell considers it a pleasure to join hands with Ericsson and the IRC for this exceptional initiative. The partnership reflects our commitment to society by allowing us to provide improved connectivity to refugee camp schools, ensuring that displaced families are given opportunities in education and a brighter future as a result.”
Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Region Middle East and Africa, Ericsson, says: “As Ericsson shapes the Networked Society, we believe it is our duty to be a responsible and relevant driver of positive change – what we call Technology for Good. This partnership will enable teachers to collaborate and share with each other, and to directly improve the quality of education in refugee camps.”
In 2015, Ericsson launched the next-generation Connect to Learn platform with an open source- based, Ericsson-managed operating system hosted on the Ericsson cloud. As a result, partners can manage content hubs for their projects, while having access to enhanced monitoring and evaluation capabilities.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About The International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. IRC teams provide health care, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people in 40 countries, with special programs designed for women and children. Every year, the IRC resettles thousands of refugees in 22 U.S. cities. Learn more at Rescue.org and follow on Twitter & Facebook.
IRC Communications Contact:
Asiacell is a leading provider of quality mobile telecommunications services in Iraq. Asiacell was the first mobile telecommunications provider in Iraq to achieve nationwide coverage, offering its services across all of Iraq’s 18 governorates including the national capital Baghdad and all other major Iraqi cities. Asiacell’s network covers 99.06% of the Iraqi population which makes its national coverage the widest among the mobile operators in Iraq.
In 2012, Asiacell was recognized by the French market research firm Altai as being Iraq’s leading brand – not only in the mobile telecommunications market but across all sectors – a reflection of Asiacell’s strong brand recognition and its established reputation for quality, reliability and service.
Asiacell provides prepaid mobile communications services that formed 99% of its subscribers (as of November 2014). Prepaid lines offers include some amended package offers to suit different sectors of the market-including young people, women and an innovative service targeting millions of visitors to Iraq every year. Asiacell also provides post-paid services to companies and individuals.
In December 2014, Asiacell awarded the best corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative award in CommsMEA international festival in Dubai for its humanitarian and connectivity programs for the refugees and internally displaced population of Iraq.
In a pioneering achievement it fulfilled at the beginning of 2013, Asiacell won “mWomen” award granted by International Mobile Telecommunications Union for the category of the best communications services provided to women in the nascent markets, in recognition of its active role and efforts it made to develop communications industry in Iraq that culminated with the launch of innovative “Almas” line in Global Mobile Awards that belongs to International Mobile Telecommunications Conference held in Barcelona, Spain. In November 2013, Asiacell won top prize in ‘Corporate Finance’ category for its record-breaking IPO, at ACT 2013 awards during The Association of Corporate Treasurers Middle East (ACTME) conference held in Dubai. In April 2013, Asiacell received the 'The Best Equity Capital Market Deal Award' during the TMT Finance Middle East & North Africa 2013 Conference held in Dubai. In February 2013, Asiacell won the Global Mobile Award in Barcelona, Spain for Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets for its Almas Line product conceived for, and sold exclusively to, Iraqi women.
In 2011, the Iraqi Ministry of Communications (MOC) recognized Asiacell as the “best GSM operator” in Iraq. A press release from Asiacell… for more information, please contact: 009647701195758
*UNHCR website here (updated January 15, 2016)
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