Tech for Refugee Needs: Supporting Digital Empowerment
Brainstorming what apps might be relevant!
With the team from Heriot Watt University, UK.
Discussing getting messages across to others in the community: one of our teams in action.
Digital technologies offer the exciting possibility of bringing individuals and communities together, and of providing a means of rapid and relevant communication.
We have been very engaged for many years with initiatives and possibilities for applying digital opportunities with and for the benefit of the refugee community here in Penang.
In partnership with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, our refugee teams explored developing a digital app which carries relevant information in an appropriate format, related to health, education, where to go for help, and contacting UNHCR, for access by persons across the refugee community.
We also explored with Medecins Sans Frontieres and others, how to maximise the use of digital communication during the time of Covid19. Our community networks were very active in helping spread key messages and information.
And together with others in a coalition called Penang Equal Start, we have also explored the possibilities of using digital resources to make education more accessible and affordable to refugee children.
These initiatives continue, spearheaded by our network of refugee leaders and our teams of women, youth and men.
Their discussions, for example on child marriage and over a range of 'protection' issues, always include reference to how messages can be shared with others in the community through digital media.
And of course the issue of online safety for children, women and all teenagers and adults has formed the theme for talks and messaging devised and delivered by our refugee teams, and will continue to do so.