Hundreds of refugees living here and in parts of the Middle East are being given laptops and tablets under an initiative organised by two Irish charities.

The Learning Technology for Refugees project, run by the Irish Refugee Council and Concern Worldwide, aims to help the recipients with education, communication and other tasks through the use of technology.

In Ireland 35 adults living in direct provision are receiving the laptops, with women particularly targeted.

"The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has recently done a study to say that women in direct provision are the most marginalised and isolated group of people in the country," said Charlotte Byrne, Education Officer at the Irish Refugee Council.

"So it is to try and integrate them into society, to try to help connect them to Irish society and the world," she added. 

The recipients say the technology will make a big difference to their lives.

"It will mean so much to my life because it is not only me who is going to benefit from it but my family is going to benefit," said Lindy Cele, a refugee from South Africa who is living with her family in direct provision here and studying to be a nurse.

"I use the laptop to do research for my assignment. I use it to keep in touch with my family back at home, my son sometimes he needs a laptop for a project he does at school."

Syrian refugee children will be the main recipients of the devices in the Middle East because hundreds of thousands of them have had limited or no access to formal education since the war began there in 2011.

Concern plans to provide 1,150 Syrian refugee children in one of its programmes in the Middle East with tablet devices that have educational games and software installed on them.

These tablets will support children aged from seven to 14 years old with language learning online and offline.

The EduApp4Syria educational games and learning software installed on each tablet will help Syrian children build basic literacy skills in Arabic.

"We're working with them to provide them with that education through the technology, through the laptops," said Michael Doorly, Head of Active Citizenship with Concern Worldwide.

"It can give them access to all kinds of lesson, all kinds of other websites that a single teacher wouldn't be able to provide." 

The project received €244,000 in funding fromNetHope, the non-governmental organisation that works to change the world through the power of technology and collaboration.

€22,000 of the money was donated to the Irish Refugee Council for the Irish arm of the project.

The Nethope funding originally came from a €5 million grant from Google.