Bridging the Digital Divide for Newcomers

Starting life in a new country comes with many challenges. For the past 30 years, Reception House in Waterloo Region has provided invaluable support to government-assisted refugees to help them settle and integrate successfully into their new community.

“Access to technology is often a challenge for new refugees which is why in the spring of 2021, we launched the Digital Engagement Project, aimed at bridging the digital divide among newly arrived refugees in our region,” explains Lynne Griffiths-Fulton, Interim CEO, Reception House Waterloo Region.  “Digital literacy is essential for new refugees to settle into our community. Many health, education, and community services have transitioned to virtual since 2020.”

This past March, The Cowan Foundation was pleased to partner with Conestoga College and provide 90 laptops for new refugees, so that access to technology is one less obstacle to overcome.

“These 90 laptops with the newest software will provide us with the opportunity to reach all the individuals and families currently in our system. They will have access to virtual support and engage in our program this year,“ says Lynne Griffiths-Fulton, Interim CEO, Reception House Waterloo Region.

“We are pleased to provide such tangible and immediate support to individuals and families being served by Reception House,” explains Mary D’Alton, Executive Director, The Cowan Foundation. “Being digitally connected will help open doors to education, social services, and employment, paving the way for success in their new community.”