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Google To Provide Free Chromebooks To Organizations Helping Refugees In Germany

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Well, the frequency with which corporations are indulging in charity seems to be increasing. After Microsoft’s recent, $1 Billion attempt to help Scholars and Communities, Google has joined the ranks of tech giants helping out by providing products from their own company.

The company has announced a brand new $5.3 million grant with the aim of equipping nonprofit aid organizations helping refugees in Germany, with Chromebooks. The company hopes that its low-cost laptops will help organizations trying to cope with some of the various problems associated with the increasing refugee influx in Germany.

The devices could prove particularly useful in tackling concerns associated with educating the refugees, many of whom are families with children with little or no formal education. Although the fact that the devices are highly dependent on the internet could prove to be an issue — albeit one which can be worked around.

As per an official blog post by the company,

Today, we’re making a $5.3 million grant to support the launch of Project Reconnect, a program byNetHope to equip nonprofits working with refugees in Germany with Chromebooks, in order to facilitate easier access to education.

Google has been constantly involved with the refugee crisis that arose in the wake of instability in the middle eastern region following the Arab spring. Just four months ago, the company pledged a sum of $5.5 million in donations.

The announcement was followed by Google’s brand new open-source project CrisisInfoHub, that provides crucial information to refugees fleeing their native countries. The information provided includes details about lodging, transportation etc.

As they make it through a dangerous journey, the first thing refugees need is to find shelter, food and access to care. But soon enough, they have to learn the local language, acquire skills to work in a new country, and figure out a way to continue their studies—all in an effort to reclaim and reconnect with the lives they had before.

Google is providing a total of 25,000 Chromebooks to organizations involved with the refugee situation, with each eligible for a maximum of 5000 devices. The specific focus on Germany is due to the fact that it has been among the most welcoming host country with 1 million registered emigrants up till now.

All well and good and we salute the initiative and hope that it will help a lot of people find new beginnings. However, those looking to find a hidden motive — and at the risk of repeating myself: it is rare event when a corporation does something selflessly — won’t have to dig far.

Recent times have seen Google often at odds with European governments — as in the right to be forgotten case with the French authorities and the European Union ruling which claimed that Google had been biasing search results — and what better way to acquire supporters than by winning hearts among the general populace?

The company has been constantly tinkering around in Europe in a bid to improve its image and Google’s PR department has been pretty busy of late, apart from providing support to local industries. The latest attempt seems to be a step along the same direction.

Be that as it may, at least something is causing these corporations to provide some real help to people and places who need it. And that folks, is something to be grateful for in itself.


A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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