We've all moved houses. You have to reorient your life - you might have to find a new your doctor, a new grocer, a new workplace, new friends. Now imagine how this must be for a migrant or refugee. It's incredibly challenging. Re-building one's life in a new country, where you might not speak the language, where you need to find a place to live with questionable legal status, where you need to find a good doctor and make new friends, this is a collection of the most difficult challenges refugees face in adopting a new home. We want to make this better.
What it does
MyVillage is a virtual village service platform that helps refugees and migrants, NGOs and local businesses. We aim to provide refugees and migrants with everything needed to make their new location 'home'. In this. This serves the mission of welcoming and integrating the refugees in local communities, promoting their well-being and development while protecting their right to life.
How we built it
We started with a RESTful API backend written in nodejs which is backed my mongo database. We then wrote a React frontend. The styling is majorly done using Bootstrap 4 and other custom components. The choice of tech was decided because we wanted it to be scalable and maintainable.
Challenges we faced
Creating an operating model that can be technically developed and meets the requirements identified as problems. Defining funding routes and outlining revenue streams that make the service platform self-sustaining. How to generate the value for all the stakeholders involved.
What we've accomplished
The ideation is based on a simple concept of EMPATHY through human interaction and CONNECTIVITY through technology. Hence, having developed an Ecosystem, a platform that helps address the integration problem of migrants and refugees while catering the needs of all relevant stakeholders; this makes us, as a team, proud.
What we learned
Technology can not share the compassion and empathy that humans need at times especially the displaced refugees. Therefore, we learned to: - understand the needs of the customers (in our case refugee and migrants) before developing any technological solution. - How to use unique data that the service ecosystem will generate to create funding streams and make the platform data-driven.
What's next for MR7: MyVillage:
The team has developed a prototype for the functionality of creating a community of shared services for refugees. - One major thing that team looks forward is how to get the service providers, buddies, NGOs and other stakeholders to be a part of MyVillage, that is, telling them how the ecosystem generates value for them. For example, start with migrants such as students who have the connectivity and access to technology and then help connect these migrants as buddies to refugees. Having service providers such as doctors, educationists, grocers, barbers etc. will give them new customer base and revenue stream to the ecosystem. - Moving from distributed communities (for example, a Syrian would want to connect with a Syrian creating distributed communities or villages) to create a shared community (connecting all the different villages). - Scaling to handle services based on text messages for people who do not have smartphones and access to technology. - Scaling to handle different language inputs. - Business Intelligence to create data streams that will generate value and data visualisation for stakeholders through data packaging. Data will also be used for creating revenue streams.