While the 'normal' Swiss citizen can follow the hygienic and social distance recommendations from the Swiss government, refugees cannot. They are at a higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19 because they must share their small bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom with other people and hygienic products are not always available to them. This adds an additional stress factor to them. We thought of an innovative platform helping to improve their actual situation.
What it does
This platform connects refugees among them, with Swiss authorities and with Swiss citizens with the aim to help in improving the actual situation of the refugees. Specifically, we want 1. Raise awareness of the critical circumstances of the refugees to the Swiss population; 2. Offer a 'market of skills' where refugees can offer and search for services based on their skills and needs; 3. Offer services to citizens so that their integration is increased and they can help the Swiss society; 4. Bridge among refugees and the Swiss society so that authorities and people can help in providing accommodation (hotels or private houses), food or hygiene products.
How we built it
We first created an empty form that refugees should fill in so that we have an idea of their situation. If they are in an emergency situation because of the virus we will know it at first. We used Python and Flask for the backend, Angular 8 with bootstrap for the frontend. We extended an existing micro blogging page and planned to use heroku.com to host the prototype. We built a mockup using ux-app.com.
Challenges we ran into
Developing the product in very limited time. We underestimated the complexity of implementing a prototype and could not finish a first version.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We have a first prototype of the product and we worked very efficiently together even though we have very different cultural backgrounds and none of us had previously worked on any topic regarding refugees.
What we learned
Technical stuff from the teammates and now we are more aware of the situation of the refugees in Switzerland. Mentors helped us in making our idea feasible.
What's next for A solidarity platform for refugees in Switzerland
More work for a better UI/UX experience. Interview the intended user groups for their needs. The backend API for message management on the platform is functional, but the database needs extensions to capture more data from registered users to enrich the feature set of the application. The application needs to be deployed to the cloud or a private server.