Ref.u.gee: a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
Tech.fu.gees: Empowering the displaced with technology
In 2016, UNHCR revealed approximately 22.5 million refugees worldwide: the immediate assistance has now expanded beyond finding them a place to resettle.
How do communities help the refugees learn English as a third or fourth language, integrate into society, or hone existing skills and find suitable jobs? How do they find access to legal services, government forms and connect with the communities?
These questions and many more that focused on how to improve the lives of refugees, brought people together in an inaugural hackathon #techfugeesadl organized by Techfugees Australia, and funded by Connecting Up.
The Adelaide Techfugees hackathon saw amazing teams of like-minded hackers, and humanitarians co-designing innovative tech solutions to problems such as access to services, qualified employment opportunities, and making sense of government forms.
Mentors from Connecting Up talked to teams developing solutions that included chatbots, mobile apps, real-time anonymised data, and simple social messaging to raise awareness of the untapped potential of refugees in our community.
Winners of the various rounds receive grants from tech giants such as Microsoft, and many teams go on to become tech start-ups in their own right, developing and implementing their solutions “in the wild”.
For more news from the event, visit Techfugees Australia on Facebook, or Twitter, or look for #techfugeesadl. For information on how to get involved in the next Techfugees Hackathon in your area, visit techfugees.com.