London has hosted a 'Techfugees' hackathon to address the growing refugee crisis

Photo: Techfugees/ Facebook.

Earlier this week some of London’s top tech experts recently gathered to host a not-for-profit “Techfugees” hackathon to work on tech solutions and products to aid both refugees and agencies.

The event, which called on tech engineers, entrepreneurs, startups and NGOs, took place at Wayra London to address the most common challenges facing refugees:

  • Refugees are being separated from friends and family as they flee Syria. Build a way for them to locate and reunite with each other.
  • There are currently countless incidents of war crimes and crimes against people that are going unrecorded and reported. Build a way to record and report the time and location of crime against refugees.
  • The displaced people of Syria are not represented by anyone and have no democratic collective voice. Build a way for them, and any they choose to represent them, to be heard so that their actual needs are met, and not those we suppose they have.

Other tasks at the hackathon included the building of apps to track safe escape routes for refugees as well as reporting on trouble areas to warn other refugees of police cracking down on encampments.

“With the TechFugees Hackathon we want to kick-start the world’s developer community to deliver relevant and essential tools into the hands of displaced people everywhere, giving them a voice, dignity and support,” said Mike Butcher, the brainchild behind Techfugees.

More than 700 people from London’s tech scene signed up for the event.

Here are some of the most interesting ideas to come out of the one-day hackathon.

An Airbnb for refugees.

Group messaging service.

Connecting refugees to locals.

Survival kit on the go.

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