Hack the Camp finalists

Heracles Papatheodorou edited this page Dec 6, 2016 · 3 revisions

Meet the projects that made it to the main phase of Hack the Camp:

Book on the way

The challenge for us is the refugee children's initiation to the Greek language as a key to their integration in Greece where they are currently dispersed in official or unofficial sites waiting for their "papers". Our idea is to print a bilingual children's book, with a vivid illustration and a meaningful story about human values. Once printed, the copies will be distributed in refugee camps, where workshops will be held presenting the books in a motivating and active way. For the first phase of our project, we evaluate that the number of the copies to distribute can be around 500 and the sites where we plan to operate in camps (1-2) and in hostels (1-2). Local and international NGOs provide support to the educational needs of children refugees. These needs are though huge and constant. We aspire to break the ghetto by bilingual workshops (both mother language and language of the hosting country) with the participation of Greek children invited to the camps at the day and time of the workshop. The Minimum Viable Product will be: find the right book, organize the distribution and organise the workshops about the book. Our solution will be first tested by the means of some pilot workshops in the camps before the final selection of the book to be printed and the organization of the workshops based on that, in order to define any risks and difficulties and take them into consideration. Our next steps are to establish furthermore our partnerships with the publishing house, the NGOs, as our mediators and the animators of the workshops.

Autonomous water supply

During the process of need finding about living in the camps, we focused on the problem of hygiene. Considering the fact, that in camps the bathroom is usually placed away from the containers and tends, we designed a small autonomous water supply for use inside the tends.The 5L Water Supply makes it possible for everyone to wash his/her hands, face, etc without leaving the tend/container and without littering. Its smart design makes it portable, and flat when packed. It consists of two bags and a space area. When opened, the first bag is used as a faucet for water supply and the second bag as a sink.The space can be used as storage for small objects.It can be used in every internal space, which makes it safe in every weather condition. It can be very helpful, in cases, such as a child needs some water during the night. It is not a secret, that abusive behaviours are often noted. Our design offers autonomy and safety, but also the essence of the personal space inside the tend or container - an important element for the support of the people’s psychology.We believe that we shouldn’t design for a context which we don’t approve. We don’t support the idea of the refugee camps as a long-term solution. We accept that this is proven to be a semi permanent solution. We need objects that will make the people active about their personal space. The solution we offer could have a more broadcast implementation for other context of humanitarian crisis such as earthquake victims. Furthermore, our product is innovative, since all related products serve the context of camping, are for outside-use only, with no autonomy about where the water goes or how it stands without hanging.

NativeNet

Refugees in Greece lack access to accurate, complete, and timely information in their native languages(s) about services in cities and refugee camps provided by NGOs and the Greek state. Consequently, many refugees are unaware, and thus do not take advantage of available programs, while NGOs often install projects that overlap in hours or scope. 2) Many refugees in Greece possess specialised professional and educational qualifications, yet are unable to connect with potential employers due to the absence of a communication mechanism. Moreover potential employers do not have access to a consolidated system to identify refugees with desirable skills. 3) Refugee children are able to attend Greek schools but adult refugees can only learn Greek by attending special language programs in Athens.

We propose building a mobile application with the following features, each available in Arabic, Farsi and English: 1) Interactive satellite image/aerial photograph of each camp and urban center in Greece embedded with information detailing the content, hours, and location of all refugee-focused services located therein. 2) Instructional videos teaching basic Greek to Arabic and Farsi speakers. 3) Submission form on which residents may self-identify their contact details and professional and educational competencies such that NGOs or other employers may match them with job opportunities.

RefWay application

With many refugees in Greece an job search mobile application is only a small way to help refugees, to find a proper job. Many of them are very skilled people, who just want to start their lives again in a welcomed place. Nobody can start his/her life without his/her independence and security. Undoubtly A job is a great start to cover these two needs. Many refugees have limited technology materials apart from their smart phones, as most of their valuable left behind. So that why I strongly believe that a smart phone application is totally addresses to theirs nowadays needs. My goal for the next #HackTheCamp event in December is to create a Minimum Viable Product of RefWay application, which will be build from the feedback and the findings. They will be emerged from the prototype RefWay app which is already available online: http://dimitrakarakou.gr/HackTheCamp

The RefWay App will be built on Android Studio so the first release will be for Android devices. Test this idea is a difficult part, at this stage the only way to check if this app would be really useful was to talk with the refugees, the first part started on Meet the Hackers event Diplareio school at 21-22 October, nobody disagree that this would be very useful application as there is not a best way to start your life again to find a proper job. Search, view and apply to jobs - whenever and wherever they are as far the got this application and their smartphone. There are many organizations e.g jobs engines sites such as Monster, Kariera, JobSite have build mobile apps for this goal, however RefugWay is addressed only to refugees

CO-PRODUCING THE CAMP

Camps are being developed in a very fragmented and top down manner, not necessarily functional enough. Each actor focuses on their own interventions, evading the importance of space organization, connectivity, proximity, accessibility etc. There is no concern for building relationships and communities, which are essential if we wish to establish a notion of normality. This leads to unsustainable refugee communities, creating anger, frustration and lack of trust. The ground reality and the existing organizational structures are not taken into consideration.

Recognizing this as a gap, we propose a handbook (and E-Handbook); a set of design and planning tools. This aims to promote and guide the collaboration of all active actors, by working together on the site plan as a common project. This process aims to bring refugee communities at the forefront of the camp's development. Focus group discussions and coordination meetings can't do this. People need to make things. It is a constantly evolving shared process which promotes the construction of networks amongst diverse actors and users, recognizing the equal position a refugee holds.

People living in the camps are proactive agents who already re-appropriate space in diverse and inventive manners. Participatory planning aims to map the ground reality, understand the way space is organized and enable refugees to envision and develop their new community.

This approach has been adopted in upgrading informal settlements but not in refugee camps. It is a simple process, open source which focuses on empowering the people. We believe that people need to become less dependent on funding and on the existing charity driven model. Everyday life in the camps must be understood as a transitional phase to integration into the local community. Camps must be recognised as a vital part of the urban fabric; as "islands" of functional space within the city.

Hopestarter

Hopestarter aims to enable refugees receive direct aid, in cash, from anyone in the world. Cash is the most effective way to help someone. It gives people the choice to acquire what they really need. Also helps refugees integrate faster in societies by participating and helping the local economies. But how can someone donate directly to a refugee? You can't just Google them and probably you won't see them in your Facebook feed. And even if you do, how can you send them money if they don't even have bank accounts? Hopestarter is built to make supporting someone halfway around the world easier than helping your next door neighbor. How do we do it?

We give refugees a mobile app that is a mobile wallet that can receive money in the form of bitcoin. We use bitcoin for the transfer of value because there are no bureaucratic prerequisites for anyone to receive and spend bitcoins. So, anyone with a smartphone and internet access can download and use our app to receive and spend money. With this same app they create their profile in our platform, presenting their story, their current circumstances and their current needs. People that want to help can see their stories and donate to the person they want, directly, in seconds. This is a transaction just between the donor and the refugee, with no intermediaries. 100% of the money donated reaches the refugee. This is unprecedented. Our long term vision extends to providing aid to anyone who is in need anywhere, in a peer-to-peer, direct fashion. This is a challenging project, but we have the drive and expertise to succeed.

ΕτερART

Our idea is to use performing & fine arts, in order to establish non-verbal communication between individuals and groups with different cultural background. We intend to focus on the 1000 UnAccompanied Minors (UAMs) hosted at Shelters around Greece, but the benefits could be gradually expanded to other vulnerable groups.

At first, we intend to bring together local & refugees children (starting from teenagers) and promote their interaction by means of body percussion improvisation and multi-ethnic rhythm and melodic patterns. Taking into account that most of the teenagers are boys (>90%) who find it embarrassing to express themselves, the choice of body percussion is ideal. The gatherings could take place at urban areas where both groups co-exist such as schools, neighborhoods and parks. In order to spread the idea all over Greece we also need a technological platform. This would require the development of a Nintendo Wii-type application as a facilitator of the teams or as a trainer of local instructors. The implemented model could be further expanded in other arts, based on the groups' special skills. Combining Real Interaction and Digital Applications will enable the UAMs to be integrated in the local communities across Greece, to regain their trust in society and start dreaming of a brighter future. Moreover, this interaction and these shared experiences will empower the Greek teens in order to face their future challenges and eventually increase social awareness of the refugee issue. The model could also be applied in people with special needs or learning disability. Nowadays, there is no other organization promoting communication of local and refugee kids through non-verbal interactions. Until the next hack event we'll organize workshops among 10+ teenagers and improve the existing educational methods. Furthermore, we're going to build the business plan and specify the technical details of the project.

Radio Transit

Radio Transit is a tool for free expression that wishes to bridge the cultural differences between refugees and the European citizens and promote inclusion and solidarity.

According to research, communication is one of the biggest challenges in the refugee camps. Except for the emergency supplies, the refugees express their wish to be heard all over Europe and its citizens. The language barrier is a serious obstacle since most of the refugees inside the camps are Arabic speakers and cannot communicate without the aid of a translator. Radio transit will facilitate the refugees who want their voice to be heard and the people interested in the current situation that do not speak Arabic. Through Radio Transit we create a dialogue between refugees and the European community and raise awareness for the current situation inside the camps. The idea is simple: a bike with a trailer carrying a desk and mobile internet connectivity visits the camps. The desk is used to record a short video carrying the message, thought or dream of a refugee. This message is sent to an online platform where it is translated to European languages -like English- in textual and audio form. Online users can access these messages through a map presentation where messages are categorized by location.

The prototype uses the following commercial services and products:

Google Cloud Speech & Translation API, Nevisa Engine by Asr Gooyesh Pardaz, Innoetics Text-to-Speech, Mapbox, MailChimp, Microsoft Azure,

and the following open source software:

MySQL, Stanford CoreNLP, .NET, Wordpress.

We have contacted several NGOs that are interested in facilitating the use of this service inside the camps and help us spread the word. For the NGOs that will form a partnership with us, we have considered to aid their fund-raising by including prompts for donation in favourable locations of our interface.

Refergon

Refergon is an online platform to provide refugees access to the workplace:

• We recruit skilled refugees and match them with employment opportunities in businesses, organizations and social enterprises, breaking the barriers to their employability and actively contributing to the improvement of their livelihoods

• We identify skill building and vocational training opportunities for unskilled refugees through NGOs and academic institutions and we ensure that no educational opportunity goes missing and that refugees are equipped with the certification necessary to join the workforce

We have formed a diverse team that will work both online and offline in the field for the project, while at the same time we will utlize gamification techniques to create loyalty and incentives.

Match & Teach Me for Integration

An e-Learning platform, based on Moodle, for the education of the refugees via their smartphones, which is also combined with an economic stimulation for business within the IT sector in Greece. In the very beginning, we focus on teaching the refugees:

a) Foreign languages (English and Greek)

b) Computer programming, which is a highly appreciated and high in demand skill worldwide (that is why similar efforts are strongly supported by the private sector).

Those who complete the courses will be getting a digital certificate of knowledge, based on a Blockchain, in which they must create their digital ID.

Those who complete the coding courses will be listed and promoted on the platform as interested in a job in the IT sector.

Volunteers from all over Europe will serve as online educators of pre-established linguistic, coding, and "social values" courses created by the academics who support this initiative.

Throughout Europe, there are NGOs which deliver conventional language and coding courses, which demand a physical presence on their premises, like METAdrasi (Greece), Refugees on Rails (Germany), Integrify (Finland), Hack Your Future (The Netherlands), etc.

In contrast, our platform can be used remotely. But even more innovative is the integration of the Blockchain. While the specific technology ensures the decentralized, secure and hybrid handling of personal information, which might be of great concern for the refugees, at the same time it creates an immutable public notary where they will disclose their identity, localization, and social integration process in exchange for government services and access to a pool of job market offers. Obviously, this public notary would have great value for the national authorities, too. Thus, under our proposal, public, civil, and private sectors, they all win. That is why this solution can be sustainable and is expected to have a great impact

RefWay application

With many refugees in Greece an job search mobile application is only a small way to help refugees, to find a proper job. Many of them are very skilled people, who just want to start their lives again in a welcomed place. Nobody can start his/her life without his/her independence and security. Undoubtly A job is a great start to cover these two needs. Many refugees have limited technology materials apart from their smart phones, as most of their valuable left behind. So that why I strongly believe that a smart phone application is totally addresses to theirs nowadays needs. My goal for the next #HackTheCamp event in December is to create a Minimum Viable Product of RefWay application, which will be build from the feedback and the findings. They will be emerged from the prototype RefWay app which is already available online: http://dimitrakarakou.gr/HackTheCamp

The RefWay App will be built on Android Studio so the first release will be for Android devices. Test this idea is a difficult part, at this stage the only way to check if this app would be really useful was to talk with the refugees, the first part started on Meet the Hackers event Diplareio school at 21-22 October, nobody disagree that this would be very useful application as there is not a best way to start your life again to find a proper job. Search, view and apply to jobs - whenever and wherever they are as far the got this application and their smartphone. There are many organizations e.g jobs engines sites such as Monster, Kariera, JobSite have build mobile apps for this goal, however RefugWay is addressed only to refugees.