Providing opportunities for refugees
A common misconception is that refugees are uneducated and a strain on the countries to which they flee, yet many of the refugees have left their own businesses, and good jobs behind. Many refugees whose asylum applications are pending and who are barred from paid work until official asylum is granted are looking for resources and opportunities to help them build a new life. Instead of being wasted, the waiting time could be put to good use.
Refugees on Rails is a coding school in Berlin which provides refugees with recycled laptops and teaches them to code from scratch, or helps them expand on existing coding skills. Old laptops are donated to the school, which is run entirely by volunteers.
Berliners have given over 160 laptops for students to the school, 200 people have volunteered to help, and tech giants Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom and co-working venues in Berlin have donated office space.
Refugees on Rails only launched in 2015, and it has already had interest from tech start-ups seeking coders.