UC Davis Launches Article 26 Backpack in Ukrainian and Russian
Students, Academic Professionals, Scientists and Human Rights Advocates to Safeguard Credentials, Research and Creative Works with Backpack
- UC Davis Launches Backpack in Ukrainian and Russian – Encourages, Students, Academic Professionals, Scientists and Human Rights Advocates to Safeguard Credentials, Research and Creative Works with Backpack
University of California, Davis – The Article 26 Backpack now includes Ukrainian and Russian in order to meet the challenges for displaced people and refugees as a result of the recent war in Ukraine. This advancement will help displaced students, researchers, scientists, and human rights activists, all of whom are targets in Putin’s war on higher education.
The two new languages are the latest addition to the free platform dedicated to educational mobility, of which over 2,600 users worldwide have taken advantage of thus far. By expanding the service to include more languages, new refugees in Ukraine can safely curate, store, and share their most critical academic documentation in a cloud based digital ecosystem. Individuals who sign up for Backpack join a global community of people committed to higher education and digital dignity.
The Article Backpack was started by UC Davis professor Keith David Watenpaugh in accordance with Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which establishes education as a human right for all. A free online platform for individuals ages 18 and over, Backpack allows its users to create a profile in order to safely store their educational and professional documents to be accessed anytime and anywhere. The share feature also allows users to securely send their achievements to potential institutions and employers. The Ukrainian and Russian versions of the website will join English, Spanish, French, Persian, and Arabic versions of the website.
This is not the first time that Article 26 Backpack has helped the global community during a crisis. UC Davis was one of the first in the University of California system to respond to the crisis in Afghanistan in August of 2021, with Backpack interns mobilizing overnight to assist refugees after the Taliban took over. In addition to an emergency statement and social media campaign, Backpack held online office hours in which people were able to make their own profiles to safely store their documents. These efforts were made possible thanks to the work founder Keith Watenpaugh undertook with Syrian refugees in Lebanon in 2018. It was during this campaign that the foundations for the tool were established, leading to the success of students who were able to continue their college education in Lebanon.
Currently, Article 26 Backpack is partnered with the NGO Kepler to bring Backpack to refugees in Rwanda.
Dr. Keith Watenpaugh, Director of Article 26 Backpack: Universal Tool for Academic Mobility says: “For refugees, many of whom have lost a great deal of their material lives, education is the kind of moveable capital that they can continue to develop, they they can hold on to, and then it can go with them. Article 26 Backpack is directly designed to help with this. At its heart, it is the ability for young people to rewrite what it means to be a refugee, especially a refugee seeking to become a leader in their community through higher education or advanced training opportunities.”
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