You can turn unused data into clean water for refugees

Maybe Mark Zuckerberg won’t donate $1 for every like on that photo you just shared, but mobile operator Three Sweden has found an interesting way to donate to people in need.

The telecommunications company has announced that it can transform unused mobile data into clean water, food and temporary lodging for refugees, through a project it calls #datadonate.

All the money gathered through the Data Donate project goes to UNHCR, the UN Refugee agency.

As some people don’t use up all their mobile data each month, they can now donate that data, and Three Sweden will make sure an equivalent amount of money is given to charity.

“As far as we know, this is a new way of donating to charity, and as so the opening stages of the project will be a bit of an experiment, to be further developed – in an open-ended project. We also hope to inspire other companies and organizations to do the same. Therefore, we have developed a process enabling us to share all the knowledge that we’ve gathered in this project with other interested organizations and companies,” says Nicholas Högberg, CEO, Three Sweden.

UNHCR will use the donations to help Syrian refugees.

“We are very happy and thankful that Three Sweden, in collaboration with its customers, has chosen to support UNHCR’s work in helping refugees fleeing from the war in Syria. UNHCR works around the clock to provide protection and emergency assistance, and the support from the #datadonate initiative will make a significant difference,” says Amelie Häger, responsible for corporate partnerships in Sweden for UNHCR.

Currently, #datadonate is available only for Three Sweden customers, but the company has created an open-source solution, so other mobile operators can participate. More information is available here.

If you live in Sweden but don’t use Three as an operator, you can use an app to find Facebook friends that do, and make them aware of the project.