Ericsson along with the NGO Refugees United will be launching a series of “hackathons” to help refugees around the world.
According to UNHCR, there are 13 million known refugees on the African continent, and the number is still on the rise. The separation of the displaced people, funding and insecurity are recurring problems encountered by the refugees. In order to help them, Ericsson and the NGO launched the Global Hack for Good campaign.
The goal is to bring awareness to the world on the conditions of the refugees and to encourage developers to create technological solutions that will help them solve the separation problem and find their missing family members during the displacements.
The are an estimated 43 million displaced people in the world. refugees United has set up a mobile and web platform on m.refunite.org to keep track of those who were separated from their families.
Almost 200,00 refugees are registered at the moment. The developers will have to find solutions to make this platform and messaging application destined for the refugees more accessible so that they can be available on cheap cellphones (feature phones). They need to consider the lack of internet connectivity and illiteracy.
The Global Hack for Good event will be held on three upcoming weekends: in Cairo (May 31st-June 1st), San Francisco (June 7th-8th) and Nairobi (June 15th-16th). The jury will be made up of experts from Ericsson and Refugees United, and will select 2 finalists in each city. The three winners (one per city) will be revealed on World Refugee Day on June 2013. The winners will be invited in Kenya to test their prototypes in the Kakuma refugee camp by the end of 2013.