Tharrington Smith, LLP, recently gave 34 of its computers to the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)-North Carolina, to help support the local refugee community.
“As you can imagine, most refugees could not think of purchasing a computer, but functioning in this society without computer skills and access is very difficult,” said Debra Nickels, USCRI volunteer and former Tharrington Smith attorney. “As an example, most refugees are dependent on public transportation, but the main source for information on bus schedules and routes in Raleigh is web-based.”
Many computers will be placed directly in the homes of refugees throughout the Triangle. Others will stay in USCRI’s office to provide computer classes for newly arrived refugees. In all, Tharrington Smith donated 30 desktop computers, four laptops, four docking stations and some speakers.
According to Carrie Cargile, Project Coordinator at USCRI-NC, the newly acquired computers “…will allow refugee youth to complete computer-based school assignments at home and give refugee adults opportunities to develop basic computer skills, do job searches, build resumes, and have a way to better communicate with loved ones still overseas.”
In admitting up to 80,000 refugees per year, the United States works through recognized refugee resettlement agencies, including the USCRI, which has a branch office in Raleigh. The Raleigh location of USCRI received its first family in 2007, and since then has helped nearly 800 refugees rebuild their lives. The refugees come from such countries as Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Somalia, the Congo, Eritrea, Cuba and Vietnam.