The growing band of startups donating their platforms to refugees

TechCrunch | 8/7/2017 | Mike Butcher
JimmyJoe (Posted by) Level 3
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Since founding the Techfugees non-profit two years ago, I’ve come acutely aware off the huge problems refugees face. With over 65 million refugees globally (according to the UN), and their ranks being swelled considerably by the civil war in Syria, it became clear to me that any solutions might help refugees would have to be scalable. Scaling solutions to problems is what the tech industry does, which is why Techfugees acts as a bridge between the tech community and the needs of refugees and refugees NGOs.

And that bridge is gradually getting closer.

Individuals - Tech - Community - Open-sources - Projects

Not only are individuals in the tech community getting involved, creating many open-sources projects, but private-sector tech startups are bringing their amazing solutions to these problems. I mean, if you can get your laundry done and delivered to your door, or order food or a limo with a smartphone, how transformational would it be to teach a refugee child the language of their host country, or help them integrate into a new country faster? Refugees have also been creating their own tech projects themselves, from the Syrian refugee answer to Etsy, Sharqi, to the app to help refugees navigate German bureaucracy. In Australia, a Techfugees hackathon helped give life to RefugeeTalent, a platform built by and for recently arrived refugees, and Refuhelp in France (below).

That’s why a new initiative from Unbabel, the Lisbon-based and Y Combinator-backed startup that combines machine learning with crowdsourced human translations, is so great.

Vasco - Pedro - CEO - Co-founder - Unbabel

Vasco Pedro, CEO and co-founder, has now launched Unbabel.org, a non-profit portal providing the company’s high-quality translation services to NGOs and charities free of charge. This will aim to remove language barriers and provide seamless communication for refugees worldwide.

Unbabel.org says it is already working with a number of organizations, including SPEAK which assists migrants in acclimating to their new community.

Startup

The startup has...
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