Despite fleeing airstrikes and chemical weapon attacks and a consistent six-year barrage of bloody violence, the difficulties faced by Syrian refugees don’t always end when they leave Syria. When they arrive in their new home – whether it’s in Europe or further afield – they face a whole new set of problems; they are in a new place where they may not speak the language and they must circumnavigate a new society with a whole different set of norms and values.
That often comes with a new language, a new health service, a new education system and a whole new way of life. Thankfully, the global tech community is helping Syrian refugees traverse these challenges. There are now a flurry of apps and online services designed to make their new home feel like home. Here are three examples…
Refugees often arrive in host countries in desperate need of medical attention, but they don’t always know how to go about getting it. The ClinicFinder app, created by the charity Doctors of the World, aims to combat that by listing safe and free-to-access clinics across Europe. This way the refugees can access free medical care without the worry of accidentally being presented with a colossal bill. It’s available in Arabic, English, Farsi and French.
Finland receives the fourth highest number of asylum seekers in Europe, according to EuroStat. Launched by a couple from Berlin, the free Funzi app is a mobile learning and information service that is aimed at helping refugees in Finland start their new life by providing them with a mobile learning service. It helps them with the basics of the language, tips on getting around and information about local customs. The developers are confident that it will help the refugees integrate at a faster rate.
Despite finding safety from extremism and regime tyranny, Syrian refugees still find it hard to move on with their lives. They may be suffering from mental health issues stemming from being exposed to so much brutality, it’s also quite probable that it will initially prove difficult to get a job. This is where NaTakallam (Arabic translation: “we speak”) comes in. It leverages the gig economy by connecting language learners all around the world with refugees who can teach them how to speak Arabic over Skype.
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