HP is one of 15 companies to be recognized by the White House for answering the call and taking action to help refugees through education and technology.

There are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today, the highest number on record. World Vision estimates that nearly 5 million Syrians are now refugees, and half of them are children.

It can be rare for businesses to take on employing refugees. For business owners, taking a chance on refugees can be risky. Yet some organizations put inclusivity and people before stereotypes or what might be seen as risky business.

"Everyone, everywhere has the right to a quality education and HP applauds the White House’s effort to engage the private sector in this important work,” said Nate Hurst, HP’s Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer.

In its 2015 Sustainability Report, HP shared its vision for creating technology that will make life better for everyone, everywhere , including refugees. HP addresses sustainability issues across three areas: the environment, society and integrity.

By working with nonprofit partner organizations, a major aspect of Global Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals, HP strives to improve society.

HP is working with the Global Alliance Institute and Girl Scouts’ Nations Capital, to support the Girl’s Truth Seekers Education Project. The project will connect Girls Scouts in the Washington D.C. area with young refugee girls currently living in countries bordering Syria. The girls will exchange knowledge and the program will allow Syrian girls to continue their education.

As part of the program, local ‘learning centers’ will be established so groups of teenage girls can attend scheduled classes regularly. Syrian girls will take part in virtual, online classes to learn English while the Girl Scouts will receive "Truth Seeker" badges for their work. HP donated the equipment necessary to make sure this is a success, understanding the mindset change growing these relationships can have between girls in the U.S. and Syria.

"This important project is not only providing practical tools, including HP Probook and Notebook laptops, to enable continued learning,” Hurst said. “It is also connecting girls with very different life experiences, and helping them develop their understanding of each other and the wider world."

Additionally, HP has funded and provided technology to 57 Community Technology Centers, which are run by UNHCR in refugee camps across the country. This includes access to computers, computer literacy and connectivity for refugees and internally displaced people.

In both cases, as well as donating practical tools, the HP Foundation’s free e-learning program, HP LIFE, is also offered as part of the training packages.

On World Refugee Day, President Obama urged non-governmental partners to contribute more to the funding for humanitarian aid operations, grant more refugees the chance to work and receive an education and provide more resettlement opportunities.

Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal to “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all,” HP works across industries to combat exploitation of workers, forced labor and trafficking within supply chains, and 92 percent of smelters in the supply chain are conflict-free or on the way to becoming conflict-free.

HP also created one of the first documented LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups more than 30 years ago and committed more than $1 million to the National Center for Women & Information Technology’s Aspirations in Computing Collegiate Program in 2014.

In addition to their work helping refugees and promoting gender equality — HP is making bigger commitments to environmental sustainability than some countries! One of the company’s top goals is to “commit to 100% renewable electricity in our global operations with 40% by 2020.”

It’s a comprehensive approach to incorporating all aspects of sustainable development into business, helping the world get one step closer to achieving all sides of the Global Goals.

Krista Watson contributed to this article. 


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Girl Scouts in DC to teach Syrian girls English thanks to HP tech