HP Gets White House Nod for Syrian Refugee Education Efforts

HP Gets White House Nod for Syrian Refugee Education Efforts

HP and others are creating innovative programs to restore educational opportunities for refugee children in the Middle East.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 11:30am

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by By Sarah Murry, HP Newsroom

Look at any of the bleak reports about the massive scale of the Syrian refugee crisis – one of the broadest-reaching humanitarian disasters since World War II — and the numbers are devastating.

WorldVision estimates that nearly 5 million Syrians are now refugees, and half of them are children. To date, most relief efforts have focused on meeting the most basic needs –safe shelter, food and medical care, for example. But it goes beyond that. WorldVision estimates some 2-3 million Syrian children are not attending school and that the war has reversed 10 years of progress in education for Syrian children.

That’s where multinational companies, such as HP, can have a remarkable impact.

HP’s sustainability organization has been engaged in developing and deploying programs that aim to restore some normalcy for displaced young people, by extending a lifeline to better education and a connection to peers around the globe.  

HP was among a dozen or so companies recognized by the White House today for taking action to help aid refugees through education, new tools and access to technology.

Among some of HP’s most recent work with Syrian refugees was a June partnership with the Global Alliance Institute and Girl Scouts’ Nation’s Capital to support the Girl’s Truth Seekers Education Project,which aims to connect Girl Scouts in the Washington, D.C., area with young Syrian refugee girls living in countries that border Syria.

The program will establish local “learning centers,” where small groups of teenage girls can attend regularly scheduled classes under the supervision of a qualified project staff person or volunteer. 

Through this initiative, Syrian girls will attend virtual, online classes to learn English and the Girl Scouts will earn Truth Seeker badges. As well as donating practical tools, HP Foundation’s innovative e-learning platform, HP LIFE, will also be offered as part of the training.

"This important project is not only providing practical tools, including HP Probook and Notebook laptops, to enable continued learning,” Hurst said. “It is also connecting girls with very different life experiences, and helping them develop their understanding of each other and the wider world.”  

The intent is for the girls to be able to consume information in both English and Arabic, enabling female refugees to continue their education, preparing them for the technology world and bringing them hope for a brighter future.

An initial pilot for the Truth Seekers Education Project is rolling out in Jordan, a country that has received more than 600,000 Syrian refugees and has struggled with overcrowded classrooms and overstretched resources.

HP LIFE can help bridge the gap. It’s an on-demand training program that offers free online courses in seven languages, including Arabic and French, that provide basic IT and business skills.

In addition, HP has funded and provided technology to 57 Community Technology Access (CTA) centers, which are run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in refugee camps across 26 countries.

The program provides access to computers, computer literacy, and connectivity for refugees and internally displaced persons.

In a statement  on World Refugee Day, President Obama urged non-governmental partners, including the private sector, to ”contribute more funding for humanitarian aid operations, to grant more refugees the chance to work and attend school, and to provide more resettlement opportunities.” The President is expected to convene a special Leaders’ Summit on Refugees at the U.N. General Assembly in September.

To learn more about HP’s programs visit hp.com/sustainability.