For refugees around the world, access to a mobile phone and the internet is a lifeline to essential information and services, and a vital link to loved ones left behind or gone ahead in search of safety.

In Uganda, for example, Abed Beligeya, 21, uses his phone to make calls to his family at home in South Sudan.

“My father is sick and has no medicine,” he said. “It’s expensive, so I only call twice a month to make sure everyone is all right.”

Despite the importance of mobile connectivity to refugees’ safety and security, they are 50 per cent less likely than non-refugees to have access to the internet or a mobile device. Urban refugees often have access to mobile networks but cannot afford to get online.

In camps and settlements around the world, UNHCR provides smartphones to refugee representatives so that they can report on issues such as protection, water supplies and other services. This empowers refugees to improve their communities and their quality of life.

Here in Australia, we are finding new ways to connect you with the stories and voices of refugees. With a single tap on your smartphone or the click of a button on your computer, the Unhidden Voices platform uses your device’s voice to share the story of a refugee like Lal, who fled from violence in Myanmar last year.

The Unhidden Voices platform uses your device’s voice to share the story of a refugee like Lal, who fled from violence in Myanmar last year. ©UNHCR/Roger Arnold

Give a voice to refugees like Sandra, Mohammed, Lal, Izidhar, Nyahok, and Rosa.
Try it now

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