After several rounds of judging, the winners of the Techfugees Global Challenge Competition have been announced at Station F in Paris. The winning projects were selected by an international panel of experts from more than a hundred applications. The competition was open to innovative projects supporting Techfugees' five focus areas: access to rights and information, health, education, employment and social inclusion.
Techfugees is a non-profit organization that brings the global tech community together to support the needs of those living in exile. Today, it's estimated that one person becomes displaced every two seconds. Worldwide, more than 68 million people are prevented from returning home, a figure that includes refugees, asylum seekers and those internally displaced within their home countries. Founded in 2015, Techfugees has grown into a community of 18,000 innovators worldwide who take part in hundreds of dedicated events each year. Based in Paris, Techfugees chapters are active and in development across the globe, from San Francisco to Sydney.
The 2018 winners include:
- Integreat App, Access to Rights & Information Challenge Winner. Germany's Integreat is an information app and website that helps connect newcomers with accurate and up to date local information from municipal administrations. The multilingual app has begun to integrate job and internship search, as well as as help newcomers find housing.
- Shifra, Health Challenge Winner. Shifra, from Australia and the United States is an ongoing research project and web app that examines the social, cultural and geographic barriers that prevent refugees from accessing quality healthcare.
- Antura and the Letters, Education Challenge Winner. Antura and the Letters is an engaging mobile game that helps Syrian children learn to read in Arabic and improve their psychosocial wellbeing. The free and open source project has been designed to run on old devices with a very small download size.
- TaQadam, Employment Winner. TaQadam provides a unique, on-demand service that optimizes image annotation for companies with visual AI. The program recruits young people who have completed digital skills training through the UN to provide digital intelligence to companies through a mobile app.
- Refugees Are, Social Inclusion Winner. Refugees Are maps public opinion about refugees in the media. The program works by applying sentiment analysis to daily news items about refugees, which the public can use to identify sources of negative news.
On the quality of applications, Joséphine Goube, CEO of Techfugees said: “We received applications from across the world, from countries affected by the conflict & climate change migrations to the neighboring countries and host countries. 52 countries represented in total, with several projects being replicas of others...We are proud that 3 years down planting the seeds of a #tech4refugees movement through hackathons around the world, we are starting to harvest the best projects and supporting them with sustainable partnerships in 2019.” After the United States, the largest amount of submissions came from Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Greece.
The winning projects were announced at the culmination of the 2018 Techfugees Global Summit. This year, the second edition of the Techfugees Global Summit brought together a wide variety of stakeholders including social entrepreneurs, designers, humanitarians, policymakers, impact investors and researchers. Last year’s Global Summit brought together more than 600 participants, in which one in five had a refugee background.