Why Smart Phones Are Essential For Refugees

Posted on Thursday, 28 Jan 2016

Since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011 over four million people have fled the country. 
The journey from Syria to Western Europe is dangerous, but many refugees manages to avoid a lot of potential threats thanks to the their smart phones. In this blog post I'm going to explain to you why smart phones are essential for refugees and how they have become as important for the fleeing refugees as water and food. 

Why smart phones are essential for refugees

While many consumers use apps like Foursquare and smart phones as a tool to find a places to eat or drink, refugees rely on them to find a safe passage to a country where they can start a new life. Furthermore, mobile devices help refugees to keep track of their loved ones and enables them to warn each other about unscrupulous traffickers via organized Facebook groups. Smart phones also enables them to get credible information on how the war is developing in Syria.

All of these things makes you think about the vital role that technology can have in different crisis around the world. For the people fleeing Syria having access to a smart phone can dramatically affect your chances of survival. This is something that many people within the tech-industry have realized, and one of those people are Mike Butcher, Editor at large at TechCrunch who last year in december helped arrange a conference in London called Techfugees Conference.

The purpose of the event was to bring together tech engineers, entrepeneurs and startups so that they together could explore different ways technology can address the refugee crisis. One specific key issue they raised during the conference was how to effectively deploy WiFi to refuegees. Another important challenge that they approached was how technology can be used to integrate people into society as they are becoming asylum seekers, and finally citizens. 

It's astonishing to see what technology can do when it's used for a good and altruistic purposes. 

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