A Purpose Driven Life...
When Casey Myers left her job to travel the world, she expected the adventure of a lifetime. What she didn’t expect was a mysterious illness that would change all her plans and leave her alone and vulnerable in a strange and foreign country.
Myers spent three weeks in and out of clinics in Sao Paulo, Brazil, undergoing tests by doctors who spoke only Portuguese (which she didn’t speak), before being admitted to the local government hospital. During this time, Myers was forced to rely on strangers, who quickly became friends. Translating from Portuguese to English; transporting her to the hospital; contacting her family and friends back home in the U.S. Thankfully, through their help, Myers was medically evacuated back to the United States, where she was able to recover. Determined to complete her around the world trip, she soon set off again (once she was healthy enough). But this time, she carried with her a renewed sense of appreciation for everyone she met who had, quite literally, saved her life.
When she arrived in Greece, Myers was again confronted with the harsh realities of inequality. She started volunteering in Lesvos, where refugees and asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa were arriving daily. Though Myers had left her home willingly, she still understood the feeling of being vulnerable, lost, and far away from home. Only this time, she was able to pay back the kindness she had received back in Sao Paulo by paying it forward in the Kara Tepe and Moria refugee camps of Lesvos.
Through a quick and dirty needs assessment, she realized that one skill set most asylum seekers lacked was computer literacy, even more so than English or other technical skills. The number one reason for asylum seekers wanting to learn English in camps is to get a job. But without knowing how to use a computer, the job search becomes almost impossible.
So Myers got to work. She borrowed computers, set up a makeshift computer lab, and began teaching her first digital literacy course. That was in 2017. Since then, Myers expanded her efforts with the help of volunteers, becoming One Digital World, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, in 2020.
Together with a team of advocates passionate about the rights of refugees and asylum seekers,
One Digital World has:
Certified over 400 refugee women in digital literacy in Samos, Greece
Built working computer labs inside family migrant shelters in Tijuana, Mexico
Placed as a finalist in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge competition
Trained volunteer asylum seekers and asylees as course facilitators
Taught Microsoft, Coursera, and Typing.com curriculums to provide graduates with professional certificates to boost their resumes
We recognize the privilege inherent in U.S. and European passports, and we believe that no one should be denied the opportunity to travel, learn, or better their lives because of their national origin, race, religion, or political affiliation. We believe it is our duty to “welcome the stranger” and pay forward the hospitality we have received from others abroad. We do this by empowering refugees and asylum seekers worldwide by using innovative technology to connect them with resources essential to their integration and self reliance.
Your passport should not determine your future. Through access to technology, training, and support services, we empower refugees and asylum seekers to change their lives and the lives of those around them.
Together, we are One Digital World.