Welcome! is an app that connects refugees and immigrants with locals to learn about their new home.
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Europe is in the middle of a major refugee crisis, with more than one million migrants arriving in 2015 alone. Now, developers in Stockholm are coming up with new ways for arrivals to integrate into their new homes.
Welcome! is an app based in Sweden, a country that has operated a broadly open policy to immigration in recent years. The developers say the app aims to break down social and language barriers between Swedes and refugees. Welcome! is translated into Arabic, Persian, Swedish and English, and it enables users to create, host and join activities, as well as ask questions of locals, chat with new contacts, and browse events that are nearby.
The idea is to solve one of the major difficulties for immigrants arriving in Europe by encouraging the new arrivals and locals to interact and connect, helping the refugees to settle in. The app offers real-time auto-translation through its four languages, and can be downloaded for iOS and Android.
The group behind Welcome! are also hosting a Welcome! Party in Stockholm, a get-together to help locals and refugees in the area meet one another.
We have already seen an initiative in Finland helping to set up startups with refugees. Could these ideas be applied in other refugee-receiving countries?