FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Patterson Foundation Contributes $75,000 to NetHopes Connectivity Efforts for Displaced Venezuelans
The Foundation urges others to join in supporting NetHopes efforts
SARASOTA, Fla. (Sept. 5, 2019) The Patterson Foundation is providing $75,000 to support NetHopes work to provide connectivity to displaced Venezuelans. The contribution will power an additional 100 Wi-Fi hotspots along the primary travel routes for people leaving the country. NetHope began deploying connectivity teams to the region in December 2018 and has since installed 85 Wi-Fi hotspots in places such as clinics, hospitals and registration centers.
Connectivity is a lifeline for the millions of people seeking refuge, allowing them to stay connected to family and friends while providing access to information regarding organized relief efforts, healthcare and safety. Additionally, the hotspots are essential to organizations working in the region that need reliable communications to provide relief.
"Those fleeing violence and threatening circumstances need to be able to communicate via Wi-Fi as much as they need food and shelter, said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. For many years, NetHope has applied on-the-ground efforts, along with its expertise and collaborative approach, to turn connectivity voids into solutions for people in turmoil.
By partnering with technology companies and funders such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, NetHope and its alliance of 56 leading global nonprofit members design and implement innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian and conservation challenges worldwide. Through its work responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, NetHope gained insight on the value of staying connected with friends and family for people along their journey.
Since 2010, The Patterson Foundation has provided more than $1.9 million to strengthen NetHopes global response efforts for disasters such as the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the Ebola crisis, the Nepalese earthquake and NetHopes Caribbean Preparedness Initiative.
The Venezuela migration crisis represents one of the single largest movements of a population group displaced from their country in history, said Brent Carbno, NetHope managing director of global programs. Keeping these people connected is important for their wellbeing. We are fortunate to have the financial support of organizations such as The Patterson Foundation to help us further our mission of using technology to keep these displaced Venezuelans connected and informed.
Since 2015, more than four million people 13 percent of the countrys total population have left Venezuela in response to the countrys current economic and humanitarian crisis. On average, more than 5,000 people a day are leaving Venezuela, making it the largest recorded migration crisis in the Americas. The majority are traveling to neighboring countries such as Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Many of these individuals must travel more than 1,000 miles by foot with limited access to resources such as food, shelter and medicine. The number of people leaving Venezuela is expected to rise, resulting in a greater need for connectivity networks.
About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.