When discussing the refugee crisis, much of the focus is on governments and NGOs and how they are handling the situation. But how are big companies stepping forward? InfoMigrants takes a look at some of the biggest corporations and their responses.
As hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into Europe in 2015, Starbucks pledged to hire 2,500 of them. They began their hiring in Britain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and other European countries affected by the crisis. In January 2017, a letter from the company to its employees stated that it would 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next five years.
The popular home rental platform Airbnb introduced its Open Homes initiative, where hosts are encouraged to provide temporary housing to refugees. The hosts put their offer on the Open Homes website where non-profits helping refugees can search for accommodations on their behalf. Airbnb pledged in June to house 100,000 refugees through the platform.
"By connecting hosts willing to open their homes with families in need, Airbnb will help us cut the times and expense of moving refugees from harm to home," David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee said about the project.
The American telecommunications company Cisco has developed tech workshops for refugees. They also organized clothing drives for the refugees and went to Greek islands to set up Wifi hotspots for them. They helped develop the Refugee First Response Center (RFRC), which is a medical aid station that provides treatment to refugees and features a translation service.
Check out the Refugee First Response Center here: http://refugeefirstresponsecenter.com/
The technology company Microsoft, famous for the Windows Operating System, has also provided IT skills training to refugees. They have a comprehensive website with IT courses that refugees can use. They have also provided expertise to the UN Refugee Agency to develop ID cards.
Check out the website on Microsoft’s initatives for refugees here: https://www.microsoft.com/about/philanthropies/humanitarian-action/refugees/#fundamentals
McDonald’s had hired over 900 refugees in Germany as of December 2016. They also provide language lessons to the refugees as a part of the hiring process.
Professional Job networking site LinkedIn introduced a program in February 2016 called Welcome Talent, which supports refugees in building a LinkedIn profile to find a job. The goal is to help streamline the job-seeking process for qualified refugees. It was originally launched in Sweden to match the refugees there with internships and during its pilot version, the program has helped about 2,000 refugees in Sweden find employment.
Check out the initiative here: Linkedin for refugees
Coursera provides online courses in a variety of subjects. They allotted financial aid towards refugees to take courses in subject such as Entrepreneurship, Data Science or Interview and Resume Writing in English.