TECH SUPPPORT SOUGHT FOR PROJECTS IN GREEK REFUGEE CAMPS

Disaster Tech Lab (DTL) is on the look-out for more volunteers to help with its project of providing internet access to refugees and other NGOs on the Greek island of Lesvos.

The Irish NGO has been working on the Greek island since September 2015 and has built WiFi networks to provide internet access to over 400,000 refugees that have passed through Lesvos in the past ten months.

“While the work on Levsos continues, Disaster Tech Lab has now also taken on the task of providing the same level of service in more than 12 refugee camps that are currently built across the Greek mainland,” noted DTL founder Evert Bopp.

“Internet access might not seem like the most urgent need to an outsider but when you ask any of the refugees about this you will learn that it’s very high up on their list. Most of them carry smartphones and free WiFi, of the kind provided by DTL, is their main source of access to news, essential information as well as means of contact with family and friends.

“This need is made even more urgent by the decision made that refugees have to make their initial asylum application via a Skype call, while most camps don’t even have electricity, water of sanitary services. Like on Lesvos we are often starting from scratch,” Bopp added.

The NGO has to bring in electrical services or sometimes even solar panels, wind turbines and batteries to power their equipment. Broadband is also rarely available on-site and DTL is building radio links up to 25 km in length to bring broadband to some camps.

To complete the task of connecting these 12 camps and building the local networks DTL is recruiting tech volunteers who are willing to spend over 10 days in Greece working on this project.

DTL has also launched a major fundraising drive as the NGO does not receive any payment to provide these services and has to fund its work out of private and corporate donations.

For details on volunteering or supporting Disaster Tech Lab visit www.disastertechlab.org