During 2015, Isabelle Mousset and Patrick de la Hamette have seen a high number of competent refugees arriving, motivated to make use of their skills in order to contribute positively to their new homes. Yet, the lack of access to digital equipment, the various language barriers and the foreign cultural environment in Luxembourg was a serious obstacle to the integration process of the refugees.
At the end of the year 2015, Patrick and Isabelle decided to take action. On his own initiative, Patrick started gathering privately computers in order to donate them to refugees. In some cases, he also provided them with internet access at home. Isabelle organised and coordinated the access and distribution of private computers for refugees and provided support for various administrative procedures online.
The demand for access to digital equipment among the refugees was so strong, that in February 2016 they founded Digital Inclusion asbl. Yet, they believed that Digital Inclusion should not be limited to refugees only, but include all vulnerable people living in Luxembourg.
Since summer 2016, Digital Inclusion is supported by the Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte as one of the mateneen projects. This allowed them to cover material costs and hire two employees, a project manager and an IT technician. Digital Inclusion has close partnership to Hariko , sharing an office in their building along with a class room, storage and a makerspace. Additional support comes from the US Embassy in Luxembourg, funding additional spare parts for the computer recycling program.
The goals :
1 Make information technology accessible to everybody
- access to digital communication
- access to technical equipment
- promote digital literacy
2 Promote social inclusion through digital technology
- creative activities around technology between locals and new arrivals
- establishing a platform for computer assisted learning
3 Take action for the environment
- recycle & repair digital equipment