The Refugee Crisis in Europe
Helping Humans to Help Themselves.
RefuComm have been providing information to people seeking international protection for two years now and through our constant interaction with refugees and by asking and listening to what they tell us, we have moved swiftly to provide them with what they tell us they need.
Our ethos and developments are rooted in strong research and close collaboration with the people we work with, they tell us how to develop the information they want, not the other way round.
At a time when people are told where to live, what to eat, what time to eat and even what to wear, our re-humanising approach to information provision is our passion and what drives us forward.
Our recent research on Chios, where we interviewed 100 refugees, in three languages, in a controlled environment using professional researchers, confirmed that there is an enormous and pressing need for information.
100% of refugees who were involved in the research told us they don’t get any information at all about their rights and the procedures for gaining a successful outcome. This has had, and continues to have, disastrous consequences. We are making it too easy for people to be rejected. Our research showed that they don’t have the most basic information.
Micro SD cards
In response to what people told us during this research, we created a low tech solution that we proved works, micro-SD cards filled with information and films to enable people to understand their rights and the procedures. Internet connectivity is poor or non existent and with SD cards, internet connectivity is not required. People can study the procedures at their leisure, even if they don’t read. The first distribution of micro SD cards will be on Chios in the coming days then we plan to move on to Lesvos and Samos.
We haven’t forgotten that people who can get access to the internet can also get information via their smartphones. People on the journey to Europe said that their smartphones were essential, more precious than food and water.
We pride ourselves on the creation of many SMART partnerships with refugees and with other like minded organisations, organisations who have the same collaborative and inclusive ethos.
Our most recent partnership has been signed and sealed and we are proud to announce that in conjunction with a team of MBA students from the US, from a startup called Marhub, we are about to help to deliver a ‘chatbot’.
The ‘chatbot’ is a cutting edge but simple way way for people to be able to ask specific questions about their particular situation without having to research lots of information that doesn’t apply to them. We love the fact that it even uses the name of the person during the chat, a human approach from what is essentially a robot.
As Sarrah Normanbhoy from Marhub, a Silicon Valley native whose parents are both immigrants says in the attached article, “Lots of people have shown up in Greece with the ‘next app’ so there is a lot of skepticism. Refugees aren’t using these apps. We want to build something they will use.”
During their research, the team from Marhub talked to many people from the refugee community and us and formulated the development plan with refugee needs at the forefront of their minds. This fits in with the RefuComm ethos, by refugees, for refugees.
The chatbot is almost ready, we will be assisting in the script and information testing next week and the chatbot will be available in the Autumn. We hope you are as excited as were are!
Watch this space!
You can read more about our great new partners at Marhub here:
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