Each week we collect the most interesting, inspiring and innovative refugee stories from around the world to share with you. Here are this week’s picks:
This Gripping App Lets You ‘Walk a Mile’ in a 16-Year-Old Refugee Girl’s Shoes (via Mashable)
Can a smartphone app build empathy and understanding about the experiences of refugees?
The new app, “Finding Home” hopes to do just this by taking over your phone’s operating system and transforming it into the phone of a 16-year-old refugee girl.
“We hope that this application will allow a viewer to walk a mile in a refugee’s shoes in order to understand what they go through every day in order to find safety,” said Richard Towle, a UNHCR representative in Malaysia.
Read more and get the app here.
Starbucks Pledges to Hire 2,500 Refugees in Eight Markets (via The Seattle Times)
Building on commitments to hire refugees who have worked as translators or support people for U.S. armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, Starbucks announced on World Refugee Day it will hire 2,500 refugees to work in eight European markets.
Starbucks will partner with the International Rescue Committee and other local non-governmental organizations to match refugees with available jobs.
The Global Refugee Crisis: The Bright Side for the U.S. (via USA for UNHCR)
For most people in the U.S., the international refugee crisis seems like a distant problem; it’s in Syria, in South Sudan, in places not easily identifiable.
But did you know that since the 1970s, the U.S. has given refuge to more than 3 million people fleeing war, violence and persecution?
Refugees like Ekhlas Ahmed, who fled civil war in Sudan in 2003, arrived to the U.S. and didn’t speak the language, and who now holds a college degree and teaches at a high school in Portland, Maine.
Ekhlas Ahmed, a refugee from Sudan, gives instruction in her ELL class. Ekhlas learned how to speak English at Casco Bay ten years ago, now she teaches there. © UNHCR/Heather Perry
“Refugees are vulnerable people, but due to the generosity of the American people we are able to provide refugees like Ekhlas with help and hope as they flee devastating circumstances and prepare them for independence in a new and permanent home.” Anne-Marie Grey, Executive Director and CEO USA for UNHCR
Read the full message from USA for UNHCR’s Executive Director and CEO Anne-Marie Grey.
She May Be the Most Unstoppable Scientist in the World (via NPR)
The World Economic Forum ranks Yemen as the worst country for women’s rights, but that didn’t keep Eqbal Dauqan from her dream of being a scientist.
“In college, I would tell my friends that I wanted to pursue a Ph.D., and they would chuckle and ridicule the idea,” says Eqbal Dauqan, who is an assistant professor at the University Kebangsaan Malaysia. Born and raised in Yemen, Dauqan credits her “naughty” spirit for her success in a male-dominated culture.
Read the rest of Eqbal’s inspiring story.
Kluge, UVa Professor Part of Unique Effort to Help Refugees (via The Daily Progress)
Can crowdfunding micro-loans in the U.S. move the needle on helping more refugees have access to work and open small businesses in their host countries? A new initiative from Alight Fund, a Charlottesville, VA based startup and the crowdfunding site Kiva, believes this combination will.
“We’re really excited to kind of start seeing this paradigm shift of one away from just a humanitarian focus to addressing the refugee crisis and one that looks at long-term sustainable solutions and livelihoods and income generating projects for refugees,” said Lev Plaves, senior portfolio manager at Kiva for the Middle East.
And the best part, all you need is $25 to get involve. Anyone interesting in contributing can make a loan of $25 or more at Kiva.org/Refugees. USA for UNHCR is providing matching funds for the micro-loans.
Read more about the initiative here.