Ideas behind the hack

The refugee crisis is one of the largest problems we face today. While handling this huge influx of people, the charities and individuals face three large problems:

  1. Charities and governments need to identify and trace where people came from and their motivations for coming
  2. Funding of the transport, border processes and temporary living
  3. Finding and reuniting with relatives

What it does

So we decided to build a system that will solve both these problems. We allow refugees to send simple text and MMS messages to a given number to track their movement and upload pictures of where they came from. These will identify the path the refugee took and better understanding who the person is. We then allow donors to sign up to the website and help fund the travel and asylum applications. We also allow the refugee to have their own website that allows them to see the most recent updates from their messages.

Tech used

To do this we used Twilio and glitch.com along with intermediate services - ngrok and flask. Within glitch.com we used HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Challenges we ran into

We are a group of 4 electronic engineers who never worked on anything related to websites, so building a website front end, processing of text messages and dealing with requests was a very steep learning curve for all of us.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We created a working website that details the information a person would need. We created a text-messaging based system to receive information from a person remotely.

What we learned

We learnt a lot in how to put together websites, but also about how to build a usable app, based on a capture of requirements. We also learnt how to find a niche that could be useful, taking into account the current options refugees have.

Improvements

The next step would be ironing out the receiving of MMS messages and adding image recognition to improve verification of people's identity.

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