We live in a world where every year millions of people are migrating. In 2018, 240 million people migrated to other countries and 20% of them were displaced. We want to create a tool to facilitate immigrants start over again.
What it does
We are developing a Facebook Messenger chatbot that helps migrant to:
- Connect with a community and social support network in their arrival city.
- Maintain, manage, and/or get new documentation or registration upon arrival.
- Match employment based on their skills.
- Affordable housing information.
What is our solution?
We built a connectivity tool that works through facebook messenger. This includes two components: a chatbot that initially helps to orient the user and provides some initial useful advice and information, and a connection to a human mentor who can provide more on-going community and support. The chatbot will also guide users to certain other facebook groups and events that are relevant to migrants, which would enable offline engagement through local events and other local groups.
What partners are needed for solution to work?
An NGO in a city that works on immigrant/social cohesion issues will serve as the trusted intermediary who manages the service. Over time, this can evolve to include networks of NGOs across multiple cities working on similar issues. We assume that the NGO will serve as the group that helps to source mentors and to vet their basic qualifications. They will maintain a database of these mentors that will include the types of expertise and support areas that they are willing to provide new arrivals (their mentees). The NGO may work with corporate sponsors who want to provide mentorship, ideally focused on mentors who have faced similar challenges in their lives and have successfully overcome these challenges. The NGO will also maintain lists of events or connections to other service providers such as churches, food banks, etc.
How to ensure privacy and safety of users?
We assume that a trusted NGO will establish and follow good practices for data privacy, but may use the data to further their mission of providing services to migrants in need. For example, the NGO may be able to better plan for services based on data that is collected through the tool (e.g. number of arrivals or expected arrivals to a city, potential skills they are bringing, etc.). Similarly, the NGO may share some of this data with other service providers in the city, including trusted government agencies.
How we built it
We iterated with Facebook Messenger API to create an interactive chat experience for immigrants. Just head to our Facebook Fan Page and start a message. We used heroku, postgresql, bootbot, node.js
Challenges we ran into
- Identifying what tasks should be automated for the bot to do, and which should be done by a human.
- Ways to design the interface so the refugee does not feel targeted by the government.
- We contacted experts of the challenges faced in different countries supporting immigrants.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
A functional prototype that receives information from immigrant and transforms to usable documentation for work, housing, mentors and community.
What we learned
We can encounter world problems with tech tools to make a change. Different people around the world can unite and make positive impact on the world.
What's next for Human 2 Human
We want to test in real situations because we feel it might help immigrants around the world.