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Extending Digital Literacy to Refugees

Phoenix, Arizona

The N50 project is providing digital literacy skills for a group of refugees with assistance and videos to help with Broadband for the Community, education, English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring, online job searches and more. The N50 blueprint for this project includes connectivity, laptops, digital literacy, ESL applications and more. The N50 Project team is working with several partners in Phoenix, Arizona to assist the Welcome to America Project, an organization that assists newly settle refugees with basics for integration for the United States.

In December 2021, 61 young Afghan women refugees arrived on a chartered flight touched at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. All of the Afghan women refugees were previously students of the Asian University for Women. The students are all at different stages of their academic careers: some students require intensive English language training and have limited digital literacy, while others are partially into their modules or close to entering the workplace.

Donated laptops, sponsorships, and grant funding (from Dell, Intel and World Wide Technology) have enabled these students technology access to: counseling via telemedicine, the Arizona State University (ASU) academic programs, on-line learning resources, mentoring programs, daily digital resources and platforms to stay in touch with family and friends. A number of the students have been signed up for the first phase of the N50 Project’s Refugee Mentoring Program, and with the help of the program, students will be provided with interactions with difference cultures, explore career options, build networks for advice and advocacy and much more.


Digital equality and literacy are essential tools to empower refugees to become self-sufficient individuals and to enable them to participate meaningfully in the communities where they re-settle and regain independence. Collaborative initiatives such as the N50 Project support a holistic and coordinated approach to harness the power of technology in transforming the lives of displaced communities and the success of such projects allows architecture blueprints to be developed, replicated and shared across digitally-disadvantaged communities around the world.

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