Closer look at a project: Caritas

Posted on May 17, 2022 10:36 AM by

We continue to bridge the digital divide. The donated and refurbished IT gets distributed across multiple valuable projects and initiatives around the globe. Today we would like to introduce you to one of these initiatives: Caritas.

Caritas International vzw is a Belgian nonprofit organization that stands for international solidarity and they support victims of violence, natural disasters, and poverty. In Belgium they support migrants by offering a humanitarian and individualized response for everyone during the migrant process for example by providing reception centers.

Caritas Scherpenheuvel, a reception center with the capacity of 165 people, received 40 laptops from Close the Gap recently. 

"We want to give the opportunity to our residents to buy affordable notebooks to give these vulnerable people the chance to integrate in the digital world which is more and more important in all pillars of society. Our goal is to make the residents self-reliant and resilient, during their stay in our center as well as in their future live. We will provide IT trainings so they will become more independent." - Caritas International vzw

The laptops will be used for doing schoolwork, finding a home, finding a job, following their asylum procedure, following language courses, following the school career of their children, staying in contact with their lawyer, banking…

Close the Gap was able to ask one of the inhabitants of Caritas Scherpenheuvel how the laptop has influenced her life. Here is Fatimah's story:

"My name is Fatimah, I am 37 years old and I come from Palestina with my three boys and we live in the reception center of Scherpenheuvel since august 2021. During my stay here, I learned to speak Dutch.
I have always dreamed of becoming a nurse, just like my mother. I remember a picture from my mother were she wore her nurse uniform and it made me so proud. My grandmother was a midwife, so taking care off people runs in our family.
When I went to college, it was my husband who decided what I could study, so instead of becoming a nurse, I became a banker.
Now, many years later, I left my old life behind me and I took a fresh start.
Since the beginning of this school year, I started to study to become a nurse. Finally! It is a very interesting study and I hope I can become a nurse here in Belgium.
The combination of studying, taking care of my children, the life in a reception center and the whole asylum procedure isn’t easy but I am very motivated to succeed.
Now that I have my own laptop, I am able to study and do my homework while my children are sleeping. I cannot imagine how I would have done it without this laptop!"

Donate your IT too and help people like Fatimah!