How Silicon Valley outsources work to African refugees

Sat, 2011-06-18 08:09 by admin
Workers translated emergency messages during Haiti's earthquake.

By Stephanie Hagarty
BBC World Service

An innovative organisation in San Francisco is working to link the world's digital giants such as Ask.com and Facebook with the poorest and most marginalised people on the planet.

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In Dadaab, northern Kenya, lies the largest refugee camp in the world. There, 300,000 displaced people battle for the resources to survive, relying for the most part on hand-outs and aid.

In the middle of the vast and dusty site is a small hut filled with computers where an industrious group of people gather to connect to the outside world.

Working with a US-based non-profit organisation, Samasource, these refugees have been trained in basic computer skills, enabling them to do digitally based work for a company thousands of miles away.

Samasource aims to help provide impoverished people by giving them one of the most basic of human rights: The right to work. …

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