Refugees are faced with so many challenges upon settling in their new home countries – the language, the culture, simply understanding how to get a job. And it’s the extra resources that people can use at their own pace that makes a world of difference. The technological world is so unavoidable in our society, so why not use it to our advantage? Some amazing volunteers have developed Apps and websites to lend refugees a helping hand whenever and wherever they need it and we’re all for it!
Refugees-Welcome.net is an online platform where people wishing to lend their support can offer their private rooms as accommodation for refugees. This not only aims to help refugees with their living situation when they first arrive but also helps their integration into the culture and community of their new country.
The website is currently running in Germany, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden Poland and Italy.
InfoAid – Information for refugees on the Balkan Route
InfoAid is an app with up-to-date information for refugees travelling through south-east Europe. The app includes updates about the situation at the borders, weather reports, ferry strikes, transportation information, security advice, information for children travelling alone and so much more.
The app was developed and is now maintained by volunteers from Hungary as a donation to Migration Aid, a volunteer group based in Hungary. Its focus is to provide refugees with necessary and valid information on their travels and is completely separate to the Hungarian government. The reports are updated on a daily basis and are translated into English, Arabic, Farsi, Greek, Pashto, Urdu.
This App works in Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia
RefuChat is an app for communication between aid workers or paramedics and Arabic-speaking refugees. It lists some useful phrases and can also be used with the live translation function. This feature translates written and spoken text – a particularly useful resource when language barriers present themselves.
Although this App was created with the intention to bridge the gap between medical staff and refugees, the live translation tool is useful for any refugee struggling with their new language.
Refuchat supports languages including German, English, Arabic, Farsi, French, Spanish, Turkish and Greek. This App is available on Android and iPhone.
Refunite.org is an online platform with a mission to reconnect refugee families across the world with their missing loved ones. Refunite is a fully independent not for profit technology organisation. They aim to empower refugees to search for their missing relatives through mobile, computer or free help lines. In order to achieve this, Refunite has collaborated with mobile network partners and the UN.
Refunite.org currently has projects in nine countries – Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Philippines.
Speakfree is an anonymous chatting app that enables refugees to get in contact with other refugees or supporters. The challenge of not knowing anybody in your new home makes it difficult to integrate into society. With this chat, refugees can talk to people in full confidence to find the answers to their questions.
The App is available in eight languages – English, German, French, Arabic, Russian, Urdu, Dari and Tigrinya.
It is also available on iPhone and Android.
It’s so incredible that amazing people put their skills to use to help out those in need. Technological aid means that refugees can use these services in their own time and at their own pace, not in a 9-5 environment where they need to make appointments or schedule in classes.
Hopefully, in the future, we’ll see more amazing people developing ideas to make the transition for refugees all that bit easier and we’d love to see more make their way to Australia.