Laptops assist refugees on quest for a better future

USA (MNN) — For refugees fleeing terror and persecution, trying to find a new normal in another country can be a daunting task.

A partner in Tanzania opens the first six of 30 laptops that will be sent for use by refugee youth, as part of an educational initiative from Tent Schools International. (Photo and caption courtesy of Tent Schools International)

For younger refugees, the educational process can be especially overwhelming. Tent School International is one organization making sure these refugees receive the tools and support they need to thrive. Through its domestic laptop program, Tent Schools works with refugee agencies to provide students in the U.S. with personal computers to help them fulfill their academic goals.

“Our leaning is toward education and looking for potential educational gaps, particularly with refugee families in terms of settlement, and so on,” Tent Schools Vice President Dale Dieleman says. “Even more particularly, we’ve discovered in speaking with various agencies the lack of access to technology in the home.

“We have come up with a program — an extension of our international laptop program — to supply laptops to families who are currently working with a refugee settlement agency.”

The computers help these families in numerous capacities, from helping students complete their homework to assisting parents in language training or job searches. And, through the agencies and volunteers that work with the refugees, they’re opening up doors for the Gospel.

“The agencies we work with are largely Christian agencies, or…churches that may be sponsoring a family or two,” Dieleman says. “And the laptop, yes, is there, but it’s a tool to develop a relationship, and one of their stipulations is that not only is the laptop just given to the family, but there’s an assurance that there’s someone there that can train the individual family members on how to use it if they’re not familiar with it.

(Photo courtesy of Tent Schools International)

“What that does is create an opportunity for a relationship between the facilitator and the student themselves or the family. And through that means, you have a Christian volunteer, generally speaking, working with that family in a very unique way.”

Do you have a family in mind that could benefit from this program? If you know of a refugee agency that might be interested in this type of opportunity, put them in contact with Tent Schools. Or, if you know of a refugee family that could benefit from having a laptop computer, you can find a request form here.

As part of its broader international program, Tent Schools provides laptops for its tent schools and training labs for refugees around the world. Through your financial support, you can cover the shipping cost of a laptop and give refugees the skills and education needed for a better future. Click here to learn more.