One simple trick helps refugees adjust to life in the U.S: giving them a phone


When refugees arrive in the U.S., they don’t necessarily bring a phone (or one that works locally), and it isn’t on the list of basic supplies that resettlement agencies usually provide. The small, temporary stipend that refugees get goes to essentials like rent, and paying a phone bill can be a stretch. But two years ago, an agency in Texas decided to take part in an experiment: If you gave a refugee a phone with a curated set of apps preloaded on the home screen–from Google Translate and Duolingo to local transit and map apps–how much could it help smooth their transition?