A Czech charity has come up with a way to help homeless people and integrate them back into society, by offering them work as human WiFi distributors on the streets of the capitals city Prague.
“WiFi4Life” provides the homeless with pocket WiFi hotspots and a power bank which enables passers-by to access free internet or recharge their phone or tablet batteries. In return for their work, the homeless are given meals, clothing, allowances and accommodation.
RT reports: “We choose homeless people because they are already in the street and most of the time they have nothing to do and we want them to start working … This, to provide internet, is one of the jobs they can do,” Lubos Bolecek, chairman of WiFi4Life, told RT’s Ruptly video agency.
Despite the fact that the WiFi is provided free of charge, “WiFi4Life” coordinators say the project will not be funded with taxpayers’ money. They have launched a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo to finance the first two months of the project.
Kamil Krtil, a homeless participant in the project spends eight hours near a metro station five days a week – except Monday and Tuesday which are his day-offs.
“This (WiFi Hotspot) is not as heavy as magazines or newspapers. But the main advantage is that you have to buy the magazines or the newspapers and then sell it on your own, so for the WiFi hotspot it is not necessary to have any money to start,” Krtil said.
The concept is not new, back in 2012 homeless people in Texas were turned into walking Wi-Fi hotspots as part of a “charitable experiment” by a New York ad agency. The marketing stunt caused an outcry at the time.