Integrify attended the UNESCO & UNHCR Refugee Coding Strategy labs in Paris, France.

Two months ago I received an intriguing and unexpected phone call from UNESCO, Paris. Together with UNHCR (The UN refugee agency), UNESCO was organizing a symposium called Mobile Learning Week 2017 and part of the program revolved around the integration of refugees through technology.

As this is exactly what Integrify is doing, they invited us over to share our experiences and key learnings. Obviously, we were thrilled to join!
The Refugee Coding Strategy Labs was a symposium gathering together different players in this field such as NGOs, companies and non-profits. Among the participants were e.g. ReDI School of Digital Integration from Berlin, Techfugees representing Europe and Middle East, Re:Coded from Iraq, and Hackyourfuture from Netherlands and of course Integrify from Finland.
During the symposium different players showcased their initiatives leading to captivating discussions over how to address the huge challenge of refugee integration.

A lot of best practices were shared and the different initiatives truly shared a common goal of making the integration of refugees easier and faster in their new societies.

Usually a lot of important discussions take place around the actual conference. We’ve witnessed this for example during Slush and The Refugee Codings Strategy Labs was no exception. ReDI School of Digital Integration stepped up and organized an “unconference”, an unofficial one day workshop for the participants a day prior to the actual event.

We were lucky to take part in the unconference also as it provided a meaningful way to connect with the noteworthy entities in this field before the actual conference. We also did a workshop where we covered topics such as how to get more women interested in coding, how to involve partner companies in our programs and which skills to teach among many others.

All in all the two days spent in Paris were very productive and I came home with plenty of new ideas and full of motivation to tackle the challenge of Pan-European refugee integration challenge!

Daniel Rahman

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