CC BY NC ND Flickr.com/Lisa Risager

GeeCycle

Smartphones where they are needed: This initiative distributes donated smartphones to people fleeing war.

Almost everyone owns it, very few people really need it: The smartphone is a luxury for most people, which is constantly replaced by the newest model. On the contrary, for refugees, it is an item which is essential for survival. It not only serves as a tool on the run and as a connector to their families, but also eases up their integration in a foreign country. Often however, the phones get broken on the way, go missing or get stolen.

Therefore, the initiative “Geecycle“, which was founded by members of the non- profit organization “Techfugees“, takes care that refugees will be equipped with donated smartphones. This concept is easy and works around the globe: Those who have a discarded smartphone in their drawers, sent it unlocked, and with the charger included, to the London based social enterprise “Impossible“ where it will be proceeded. Eventually, the phones are handed over by volunteers to refugees who arrive on Samos, Greece to enable them having a save continuation of their journey. The idea of donating smartphones is not a new one. However, Geecycle is the first central platform that collects old smartphones worldwide and provides them to refugees already during, rather than after their flight.

This case is written by Juliane Weiß.

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