A collaboration between UNICEF USA and Tech For Refugees ensures Ukrainian children receive essential educational aid. Yuri Milner’s refugee-focused initiative announced the partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund in June 2023.
When Tech For Refugees launched in May 2022, it chiefly supported programs addressing the emergency in Ukraine. Since October 2022, the initiative has expanded its scope to support crisis zones in other areas of the world, including Pakistan and the Horn of Africa.
UNICEF Fosters Education Amidst Conflict in Ukraine
A grant from Tech For Refugees is helping UNICEF USA provide educational programs for young people impacted by the war in Ukraine. The country’s children have faced severe challenges accessing education since the war escalated in early 2022. To date, over 3,000 Ukrainian schools, colleges, and universities have suffered damage or destruction.
On top of this, one out of every five Ukrainian children is internally displaced. Although these children have remained within the borders of their country, conflict has forced them to leave their homes.
Despite these challenges, UNICEF is working to ensure all children can access learning opportunities safely. The organization collaborates with communities and authorities across Ukraine to achieve this goal.
Renée Cutting, UNICEF USA’s chief philanthropy officer, said the organization was “immensely grateful” for Tech For Refugees’ support. The grant enables UNICEF to reach more Ukrainian children and make sure “they don’t fall further behind” in their education.
UNICEF works to save and enhance the lives of children in over 190 countries and territories.
The organization has operated since 1946, when it began supporting European refugees following World War II. Tech For Refugees Founder Yuri Milner has called UNICEF’s efforts to help the world’s refugees “invaluable.”
Tech For Refugees’ Humanitarian Partnerships
Yuri Milner and his wife Julia founded Tech For Refugees following the intensification of the war in Ukraine in 2022. The war has affected the couple greatly — Yuri Milner’s father’s family hails from Ukraine, and Yuri Milner spent many childhood summers in the country.
The couple created Tech For Refugees to aid refugee relief efforts using technology. The initiative financially supports prominent tech companies and organizations that work to improve the lives of refugees from Ukraine and around the world.
Tech For Refugees helps these tech partners leverage their expertise and networks to facilitate life-saving programs.
Aside from UNICEF USA, Tech For Refugees has formed partnerships with Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, Spotify, Welcome.US, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The initiative also collaborated with Uber and NeedsMap to help victims of the February 2023 Turkey earthquake.
Uber recently extended its partnership with Tech For Refugees to provide ride credits to the IRC’s staff and clients.
Learn more about the organisations partnering with Tech For Refugees.
About Yuri Milner
Yuri Milner is a tech entrepreneur and former theoretical physicist. He founded DST Global, one of the world’s leading internet investment firms. He is also the mind behind scientific programs like the Breakthrough Prize and the Breakthrough Initiatives.
The Breakthrough Prizes are a set of major awards that recognize profound advancements in science and maths. Milner and his wife partnered with Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan, Mark Zuckerberg, and Anne Wojcicki to launch the first $3 million Breakthrough Prize (for Fundamental Physics) in 2012.
The Breakthrough Initiatives are five space science programs that investigate ideas about life beyond Earth.
Two Breakthrough Initiatives (Listen and Watch) are research programs seeking evidence of alien life. Breakthrough Starshot is an engineering project working to develop technologies for an uncrewed flight to Alpha Centauri.
Meanwhile, Breakthrough Message is a competition to design a message from humanity that aliens could understand. Lastly, Breakthrough Discuss is an annual conference for space science scholars.
Yuri Milner joined the Giving Pledge in 2012 to formalize his commitment to scientific philanthropy. His short book, Eureka Manifesto: The Mission for Our Civilisation, discusses humanity’s role in the future of the Universe.