Inspiration

The biggest refugee crisis since World War 2 inspired us to develop an app that aids refugees during their move.

What it does

It provides a sense of community and support for refugees trying to reach safety. Each user enters an anonymous message about their current location and their destination. The message can be about the people in the area, the food, etc. Based on the messages about the locations, the locations are marked as a positive or negative spot. Other users can then see whether this location is a good place for them to travel through. It also has a chat component where anonymous users can chat with each other regarding the crisis.

How we built it

We used Android Studio to build the mobile app and used ruby-on-rails for the backend. We used the indico API to determine the sentiment of each message refugees input. The messaging component is built with Firebase.

Challenges we ran into

Our biggest problem was posting http requests to the backend.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

Making an app that has such great international social impact.

What we learned

We learned the importance of smartphones for refugees' journeys to a new life. There is a fast turnover of information (e.g. closing of a bridge) so having a smartphone application makes the information more accessible to refugees.

What's next for Northern Lights

Implement a PayPal element that allows local denizens to donate resources to aid the transitional phase of the refugees. Analyze the most popular topics about each location.

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