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The MIT Just Opened Up Calls for the Refugee Learning Accelerator

Spearheaded by the MIT Media Lab, the 6-month programme supports engineers and computer scientists who can create tech that helps refugees access education.

Staff Writer

Aiming to support engineers and computer scientists from the Middle East to come up with solutions to tackle the needs of refugees, the MIT Media Lab has just launched the Refugee Learning Accelerator programme, a six-month programme to boost the capacity of entrepreneurs in solving one of the most dramatic refugee crisis of century. 

But if your focus is revenue, don’t get your hopes up. Rather than boosting startups to become the next unicorn, the programme aims to build a community of innovators who can collaborate to build tech-powered solutions for regional challenges. Computer scientists, electrical engineers and designers from Syria - not residing in the country - Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine are ideal candidates.

Kicking off in October, the programme allows techies and programmers to work alongside some of the most groundbreaking professionals in one of the world’s most innovative spaces; the MIT Media Lab, an interdisciplinary research lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to design technologies to shape a better future for humanity. Participants are required to consist of a team (between 2 and 5 people), speak both Arabic and English, have a valid passport and travel documents - as they will participate in a workshop in Amman or Beirut. And here’s the catch: applicants don’t need to have an idea to apply. The programme’s first phase, “Ideate” is designed to get them up to speed on what’s happening in the field of digital education for refugees in order for the team to brainstorm new projects.

Several entrepreneurs in the MENA region have been tackling the refugee crisis through their startups. Recently, the MIT Media lab boosted projects for refugees in the region, such as the Lebanese startup using VR to help Syrian refugees see their country again, Sphyria. 

The deadline for applications is September 10, through this link.

Main Photo: MIT Media Lab. Courtesy of Doralco Architectural Metal Solutions.


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