JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, today announced that it worked with Catholic Charities Jacksonville to provide refugees living in Jacksonville access to devices and internet in order to facilitate their English classes and better acclimate to life in America. On Oct. 21, JinkoSolar executives, city councilmen, congressional staff, CCBJAX representatives, and Afghan refugees who both work at JinkoSolar and are ESOL program students took part in a gifting ceremony at the JinkoSolar factory in Jacksonville to celebrate this donation.
JinkoSolar donated 70 brand new laptops to CCBJAX to help refugees enrolled in its ESOL program, a class that helps refugee students improve their English skills. The current class of refugee students comes from a variety of countries like Afghanistan, Cuba, and Sudan. The laptop donation fills a major gap for new and existing students who lack the financial resources to purchase their own devices. It allows students to take classes remotely, which is important during the pandemic and also saves them time and money from not traveling to CCBJAX. CCBJAX will loan the laptops to students for as long as they are enrolled in the program, meaning multiple classes of refugees can benefit from use of the devices. JinkoSolar also provided 1 year of free high speed internet access to 30 families who could not afford it.
“We recently learned that we employ people which CCBJAX has helped, and we are so impressed with their desire to work hard and become valued members of the Jacksonville community,” said Mike Favo, General Manager of Jinko Solar (U.S.) Industries Inc. “The ESOL program plays a significant role in their personal success; we are humbled that our contribution is a tool in their journey.”
“The refugees we serve were forced to flee their home countries with just a few personal belongings – most of which were family photos and other irreplicable mementos,” said Lori Weber, Regional Director of Catholic Charities Jacksonville. “We can’t thank JinkoSolar enough for the laptops and internet access as it is a true investment in the success of these hardworking refugees as they build new lives here in Northeast Florida.”
“The gaping digital divide impedes refugee efforts to assimilate to life in America. That is why it is imperative that those who are immigrating to Jacksonville have access to the resources necessary to adapt to our virtual way of living and become dedicated members of our community. As we increasingly depend on digital communication to work and learn, these donated tools may lessen their challenges moving forward. Thank you to JinkoSolar for aiding in this transition and allowing refugees the same opportunity we want for all Americans – the chance to build a better life,” said Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL).