To reawaken the human and economic potential of millions of refugees around the world by increasing connectivity and providing access to the Internet.
We believe that the knowledge economy is the future of the world economy, and the internet is its backbone. We will reach 10 Million refugees by 2022.
Introducing an intelligent web browser that provides extremely affordable access to the Internet without the need of a stable of high-speed WiFi connection.
Empower installs smart WiFi routers in refugee camps and urban slums, provided by our platform partner HITCH.
We met Julian in the Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda. He’s a Burundian refugee who has been in this camp for over three years. Julian relies heavily on the internet. He has traded 12 days worth of food rations for his data plan - it’s the only way for him to keep in touch with his family or have any hope of continuing his education. Julian is just one of the 170,000 refugees in the Nakivale camp and one of 300 million refugees in East Africa alone who live without accessible connectivity.
Connectivity is Julian’s most vital tool – it’s what he used to apply for asylum, prepare for the grueling process, learn languages, start seeking a potential job and ultimately, share the life changing news with his family back home. He needs connectivity just as much as we do. With your support, we can empower Julian, and the millions of refugees just like him around the world.
Our story begins with a journey.
We travelled across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa to understand the challenges faced by people living in refugee camps and informal settlements.
We thought we’d hear about food shortages or shelter needs but over and over again, people shared stories about their challenges getting online and how much they valued a simple WiFi connection.
They told us why the internet is so essential - it allows them to stay in touch with loved ones, apply and prepare for asylum, continue their education or even find online work opportunities - it was essentially their lifeline to building a future.
One resident of the Skaramagas camp said that the first Skype call he was able to make to his family when he made the dangerous crossing to Greece was the happiest he had ever been in his life.
From this story of hope, we saw an opportunity to turn this connectivity crisis into an empowering solution. Our innovative mobile hotspots build and enhance upon existing infrastructure in order to deliver high speed internet to those who need it most.
Empower met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss opportunities for refugees as well as other influential business leaders including Jose Escobar, a lead on Verizon’s VC fund, and UN Smart Cities Expert/Founder of BroadLights.org, Marcelo Garcia.
Ugandan Refugee & Pilot Lead
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