What you can expect from us in 2017.
One month ago, together with the Global Shapers Lisbon Hub, we launched the Techfugees Portugal chapter during the Web Summit 2016.
It was an amazing event, where we had the chance to hear Mariana Brilhante talk about the work SPEAK is doing to integrate migrants and how they are expanding to more locations, as well as, the work done by Mirko Bass with the Refugee First Response Center.
On top of this, we also had the chance to hear a message of hope from former Greek Prime-Minister George Papandreou, himself a refugee.
Building Techfugees Portugal
Personally, launching an initiative to address the migration crisis we’re currently living in Europe, is an old goal. In January 2015, I attended the World Economic Forum in Davos. On the last day, together with Cristina Fonseca and Filipa Neto, we attended the Struggle for Survival. In their own words:
This programme is not a talk or a video. It invites participants to take a few steps in the shoes of refugees, through a simulated environment which re-creates some of the struggles and choices they face to survive, each day.
The experience is developed by the NGO, Crossroads Foundation, and designed by refugees, internally displaced persons and aid workers to create as realistic a scenario as possible and to target issues that need addressing by global leaders: ethnic conflict, military arrogance, corruption, disempowerment and frustration.
In the end of the session, the facilitators from the Crossroads Foundation shared their first-hand experiences from working in refugees camps. One of the inspiring and action-oriented stories they shared was about Jake, a 10-year-old American kid living in Hong Kong that alone was able to build a playground in Nigeria, after hearing from a family friend that in Nigeria kids don’t have playgrounds to play at.
This story inspired me to act and when I first heard about Techfugees (back in September 2015) I knew that I wanted to build Techfugees Portugal.
Techfugees is a social enterprise coordinating the international tech community’s response to the needs of Refugees. Techfugees organises conferences, workshops, hackathons and meetups in around the world in an effort to generate tech solutions that can help refugees.
Techfugees Portugal is now up and running and I would like to invite you to join our Facebook Group, where most of the communication is taking place.
I’m also happy to announce the Techfugees Portugal Monthly Meetup. We will go to different cities in Portugal to talk about how some people & organizations are using technology to address the refugee crisis. Join us!
Techfugees Portugal Monthly Meetup
January 19: Techfugees Portugal Meetup @ Unbabel
February 16: Techfugees Portugal Meetup @ Coimbra
March 16: Techfugees Portugal Meetup @ Porto i/o
April 20: Techfugees Portugal Meetup @ Braga
May 18: Techfugees Portugal Meetup @ Covilhã
June 8: Techfugees Portugal Meetup @ Lisboa
For more details about the meetups, go here! We are looking for companies and organizations that want to share the work they are doing with refugees or with refugees supporting organizations. We are also looking for spaces/companies/coworking spaces that can host us! Get in touch if you want to help!
Finally, in early January, we’ll announce a big initiative that will take place in the first semester of 2017. Stay tuned!