Sparrow Joins White House Call to Action for Private Sector Engagement on the Global Refugee Crisis Along with 50 Private Sector Companies
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 20, 2016) Sparrow, a U.S. wireless company applying the buy-one-give-one model for world change, announced its participation in the White House Call to Action for Private Sector Engagement on the Global Refugee Crisis. The White House invited Sparrow to present its RefugeeMobile program, backed in part by a MacArthur Discovery Grant, that provides new refugees who arrive in the United States with smartphones and apps designed to help them connect with their support network, learn English, find jobs and contribute to their new communities.
There are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today, the highest number on record since the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) began collecting statistics. More than 21 million of these people have crossed international borders in search of safety and are registered as refugees. Refugees are people just like everyone else — mothers, fathers, doctors, teachers, students — who have been driven from their homes and across international borders by violence and persecution. More than half are children.
“The stories we hear from RefugeeMobile participants are heart breaking, but their resilience is awe inspiring,” said Matt Bauer, CEO, Sparrow. “We are humbled and honored to present RefugeeMobile to President Obama and see an enormous opportunity for improving refugee resettlement services in the U.S. by applying smartphones and modern technology,” said Bauer.
Sparrow responded to the White House Call to Action with a pledge to expand Sparrow’s Texas-based RefugeeMobile program from 250 families to 1,000 or more families by 2018, by adding one or more geographic regions and committing to at least 50% women as primary smartphone recipients.
- Through RefugeeMobile, in partnership with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and Refugee Services of Texas, Sparrow is advancing refugee resettlement in the U.S. by incorporating digital access alongside the case management services refugees already receive, with an end goal of increasing agencies’ capacity and improving integration for new refugees.
- RefugeeMobile empowers new refugees arriving in the U.S. to connect, thrive and contribute by providing smartphones, tailored apps (such as language translators, maps and appointment schedules) and 100% subsidized wireless service during a refugee’s critical first six months.
- These activities empower refugees to more quickly thrive and contribute to society, wherever they reside, by providing them with the resources and tools they need to connect with their support network, access education, find housing, gain meaningful employment and become self-reliant.
“Smartphones have become necessities for all of us and especially for people in crisis,” explained Amy Tucker, Sparrow co-founder and Chief Impact Officer. “Refugees are people — just like you and me — who have pretty much lost everything, so you can imagine how important smartphones are to them. Sparrow has attracted a beautiful customer base who love that their mobile is helping others,” added Tucker.
In response to the President’s Call to Action, the following companies have put forward commitments to address the global refugee crisis. You can view their detailed commitments here.
FIGURE 8 INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
JOHNSON & JOHNSON
KLEIMAN INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANTS
MCKINSEY & COMPANY
NEWTON SUPPLY COMPANY
NOT IMPOSSIBLE LABS
NOVA CREDIT, INC.
OLIVER WYMAN & COMPANY
SINGHAL & COMPANY
SOROS FUND MANAGEMENT
SYNTHESIS STRATEGY CORPORATION
Sparrow is a mobile company with a mission: Connect the power of people and technology for positive world change. Offering the latest wireless services to U.S. customers, for every customer who subscribers to Sparrow (“sponsor sparrow”) a smartphone or month of service is donated to someone in need (“impact sparrow”) with the goal of bridging the digital divide and offering U.S. consumers a way to align their mobile service for good. Learn more at sparrowmobile.com