by Zoe Allen, Sona Circle
In the technological age, mobile apps have become an adaptable and efficient way to share information, create communities and connections, and support refugees.
We’ve put together a list of six great apps that support refugees, both directly and indirectly, in the UK. Most of these apps can also be used offline.
Love-Europe is an app that supports refugees all over Europe, including in the UK. The app aims to help refugees “navigate, communicate and integrate” during their stay in another country.
It includes a phrasebook and information on local and emergency services, as well as the “Buddy2Buddy” feature that connects refugees with locals and neighbours who are able to help them out, for example with babysitting or transport.
This app also helps refugees access services and integrate into the UK, but focuses on the work of aid organisations, charities and NGOs. The creators found that aid services, like food banks, might not always be listed online, and had never been compiled in one easy-to-access database.
Using RefAid also makes sure refugees are only accessing resources and services from trusted and reliable providers, keeping refugees safe whilst they are relying on others for support.
3. My Life as a Refugee
My Life as a Refugee, created by the UN Refugee Agency, is a “true-to-life game” that allows players to walk in a refugee’s shoes. From fleeing your home, making dangerous journeys, and settling in new countries, players must make the same life-changing decisions that refugees are forced to make every day.
The app aims to build understanding and empathy for refugees across the countries they settle in, and therefore encourage acceptance and welcome.
TimePeace, again, aims to help refugees integrate into life in the UK, but focuses on the importance of community and social connection.
The app puts the power to support and welcome refugees into the hands of volunteers, by organising and advertising events around common interests, or to share skills, in the local area. Therefore, TimePeace helps build an integrated and diverse local community.
5. Refugee Speaker
Language is one of the key barriers to refugees trying to integrate into the UK. Refugee Speaker is a tailored version of the award-winning app Universal Doctor Speaker that helps translation and communication between healthcare professionals and refugees.
The app offers medical phrases and audio in over 17 languages, to allow refugees to more easily access medical support and communicate with medical professionals.
6. Sona Circle
Like many of these platforms, Sona Circle support refugees to integrate into the UK by connecting refugees with socially conscious employers.
Alongside accessing key services, accessing employment and work experience opportunities is also a key issue for refugees to aid social integration as well as economic security.
If you are interested in hiring refugees, take a look at the information for employers. Alternatively you can donate to the Sona Circle refugee employment fund where 100% of donations go directly to creating employment opportunities for refugees.