Straight Talk for Refugees

With a provocative title, The Independent disassembles one of clichés that is making greater inroads among the indignations of the last hour: what unites the migrants to their home state? A possession of a mobile phone.

The equation, in 2015, not back geopolitically or economically or logically. The men and women who arrive these days are mostly refugees, not immigrants. They are people who have fled a war, even before it, by poverty, and all census and social backgrounds. Among them are unemployed but also doctors, engineers, construction workers and skilled workers. In their country of origin they had a house, a TV and a mobile phone. They saw the destroyed house, left under the rubble the TV and brought the phone. From the standpoint of economic, the latter is now a well within the reach of almost all social classes. We take Syrian refugees , they come from a country classified by the World Bank as low-middle ”from the economic point of view, so poor. A country where there are 87 phones per 100 inhabitants and where the average income is $ 1,850 a year.”

Sacrifices for a phone: To buy a Smartphone equipped with the Android system cost about $ 100 on average. Should they set aside 5% of its annual income: it is a sacrifice certainly not impossible and would gladly be willing by almost everyone. Which brings us to the second aspect, that of logic. The mobile phone, even the latest generation, is no longer a luxury item, but a primary one, for which the citizens of the world are ready to sacrifice other expenditures.

Connected through phone: The phone has become, for refugees and for us alike, a necessary good for the conduct of our lives. Thanks to that and Straight Talk network, the migrants remain connected to the world that they were forced to leave behind; They discover the land that is hosting them and maintain contact with the family who have left.

Need of a better service: Immigration 2.0, made ​​up of WhatsApp groups among the refugees to exchange tips for the crossing, controlled routes on Facebook and Skype calls at home. “Every time I go to a new country, I buy a sim card and active Internet to surf on the maps. One of the things that bother me the most is when the battery gets low”, says Osama Aljasem to the New York Times, which reported of the new Syrian and Iraqi refugees’ immigration needs, needs which even the humanitarian organizations are adapting.

Thus, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has distributed 33,000 Straight Talk SIM cards to Syrian refugees in Jordan and 85,000 small lamps that can also be used for charging. Why Straight Talk? Because Straight Talk is a pay-as-you go prepaid wireless phone service that requires no long term contracts, no credit checks, no activation fees, no monthly bills and no age limits. German stations have also offered areas to recharge their mobiles.

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