Refugees Get Help in the Palms of Their Hands

By Ximena Gómez, HIAS Ecuador Development Analyst

HIAS Ecuador and TATA Consultancy Services (TCS), the largest IT services multinational company in Latin America, have signed a cooperation agreement that will benefit refugee families in Ecuador.

HIAS and TCS will work together on the design of mobile applications that will help refugee families monitor their own progress regarding economic and social integration. Despite having limited economic resources, most refugee families have at least one smartphone per household to keep in touch with their family in their country of origin. The applications will help people to better manage monthly income and entrepreneurship projects.

“Ecuador hosts the largest refugee population in Latin America and with this agreement HIAS and TCS will work together to benefit the most vulnerable cases, providing them with tools to improve their abilities for developing sustainable livelihoods,” said Sabrina Lustgarten, HIAS Country Director for Ecuador.

TCS’s corporate volunteers also plan to carry out training sessions and workshops to improve refugee’s abilities, skills, and competencies. An app for the Graduation Model Approach, which helps people track their progress toward self-reliance, is expected to reach at least 1500 families. Plans to establish at least two technology clubs for young refugee girls are also underway.

HIAS and TCS also will work together on the development of strategies and workshops that will promote healthy lifestyles and improve refugees’ access to health services.

HIAS Ecuador and TCS started their collaboration in 2017 on projects such as workshops on employment opportunities. Lustgarten said TCS is guided by corporate sustainability principles that contribute to the development of the communities where they work. This new agreement was developed as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Shared Value initiatives that HIAS carries out with the private sector.

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