For refugees fleeing war and persecution, starting over in a foreign country can be a major challenge. RefAid is a mobile app that connects users with local services offered by aid organisations, to help new arrivals re-establish their lives.
Refugees commonly travel with little more than their smartphones and backpacks when making the long and treacherous journey to Europe. When they arrive, settling in can be difficult. With little money, social networks and local know-how, it is especially difficult for refugees to cover their basic needs. In response to this challenge, a number of new apps, digital tools and initiatives have emerged that help refugees navigate their transition into a new society.
Life Changing Access to Information for Refugees
One such innovation is the recently launched Refugee Aid app. RefAid is a free mobile app that uses geolocation to show refugees local services provided by NGOs. It identifies essential lifelines including food, shelter, healthcare and legal assistance. Once logged in, the user can view surrounding services on a map based on their location as well as the opening times and contact information of the service providers. The app has an easy to use interface and is available in English, Farsi, and Arabic.
Trellyz, the company behind RefAid, has forged a number of partnerships with major NGOs, including the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Save the Children. The app values its reliability and humanitarian grounded mission. It works closely only with trusted NGOs to avoid providing misinformation to refugees or aiding people smugglers. To ensure that privacy is retained for all users, you only need an email address to log in, no name is required.
RefAid Helps Refugees and NGOs
Both refugees and NGOs can benefit from RefAid. As well as providing information to refugees on the types of assistance available in the area, the app also helps NGOs monitor the reach of their services across the countries that they work in. This enables them to identify shortfalls in assistance and avoid overlaps, maximising the efficacy and reach of aid organisations.
Available through Google Play and App Store, the RefAid platform is currently covering 14 countries including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey. RefAid hopes to soon extend its reach to all of Europe and the Middle East.
To find out about another location based online platform for refugees check out Arriving in Berlin.