A former child refugee has launched an education scholarship programme to support refugees and the homeless in the UK.
The scheme will help provide training and classes for homeless people and those from refugee backgrounds to upgrade their skills and integrate into society.
Peter Paduh, who had to flee the Balkans during the conflict there in the early 1990s, hopes the new scheme will help participants get back on their feet through education and eventually move into permanent accommodation and employment.
Peter went on to start a social enterprise called SocialBox.Biz, which redistributes unused laptops and other devices to the most digitally vulnerable in society, thanks to donations by businesses and individuals. Previous donors include Legal & General, the CBI, the Greater London Authority and fashion chain New Look, which recently donated a record 1,000 items to SocialBox.Biz.
It is through this initiative that Peter will raise the funds for the scholarships, and he has already pledged to donate £5,000 to one of the social enterprise’s charity partners C4WS, once the next 5,000 items have been delivered.
By teaming up with local communities and schools, we can help make education accessible for underprivileged refugees. As a former child refugee myself, this is a cause I am extremely passionate about, and I am eager to be able to give back to the community and help refugees like myself.
As more companies move into a hybrid style of office and home working, SocialBox.Biz expects to see to an increase in unused laptops, computers and other devices become available for those in need. The social enterprise also recently launched its ‘business heroes’ scheme, which aims to recruits 100 businesses partners to help tackle digital inequality over the next couple of years.
Laszlo Balla, Employment Support Co-ordinator at the C4WS Homeless Project, said:
One thing I’ve learned for sure is that how many basic needs we are taking for granted which actually aren’t for many people: one of those things is IT. Through the help of SocialBox.Biz we were able to donate refurbished laptops to our guests who are coming from a refugee background, to be able to keep connected with other people, search for work or study at a university.