The UNA-BC worked with the Masjid Ikhlas Mosque this September, and were led by Amy Bryant to help provide discounted internet access to Afghan refugees in the Denver area. Through a federal program - the Affordable Connectivity Program- , about 175 refugees were given access to Wi-Fi, technology, and phone service discounts. These resources can often be expensive and inaccessible, especially to marginalized groups; UNA-BC was honored to help make these necessities more feasible. At the two day event, we interacted with a variety of individuals, many with young kids, who all took the time to help one another communicate and sign-up - engaging with this community was touching. Like the broader UN, UNA-BC strives to make intercultural connections, focus on bettering livelihoods, and make community impacts; the ACP event embodied our values perfectly.
Federal programs such as ACP and Lifeline seek to aid populations who struggle due to language barriers, income restrictions, and the hurdles that come with change. In a more globalized, digital world, providing disenfranchised groups with increased access to internet helps greatly with educational, work, connection, and health opportunities. Nations such as Afghanistan are continually suffering from conflict, poverty, COVID-19 dilemmas, and resource insecurities. Providing for refugee communities and helping to procure peace in tumultuous times, in any way that we can, is both important and impactful.
Thank you to everyone who attended the ACP sign-up event, and especially to Amy for organizing it. In the future, UNA-BC would like to potentially host a similar event at different Mosques and communities in the Denver area.