Refugee Nation

Refugee Nation is a service for people living in refugee and asylum camps in Europe. Built by refugees for refugees, the service framework consists of a knowledge database and a social networking platform. Refugee Nation enables refugees to access and share information they themselves have acquired on how to navigate the asylum system and life in the host nation. Available through web, mobile and print, the main purpose of Refugee Nation is to support and stabilise refugee’s lives during the early stage of entering the asylum journey. This is achieved by removing as much of the uncertainty, fear and feeling of isolation as possible.

With current asylum systems, the continuous resetting of the refugees mental journey and the shifting of social networks and geographical position caused by moving them around, brings a high risk of mental breakdown. Many refugees end up being isolated – causing depression, lack of initiative and no feeling of identity. This drains camp resources, becomes expensive for the healthcare system and makes integration difficult.

Refugee Nation uses access to knowledge, communities and the power to contribute as a way to stop this downward circle, by giving refugees within the asylum system an easy way to understand their current situation and the journey ahead, as well as giving them the tools to actively take part in building and sharing.

Refugee Nation’s belief is that information and knowledge that is communicated in your own language and written from your own cultural perspective will have the deepest impact and furthest reach. It may seem like an impossible task to reach to every culture and every language within the asylum system, however, Refugee Nation solves this by reinforcing an already existing underground refugee knowledge – transfer-system, as it encourages the refugees and the experts themselves to further develop and co-create the service. Not only does this directly help the refugees by giving them the knowledge they need via a wide social network, but also indirectly combats low self-esteem and the feeling of uselessness by encouraging them to build and contribute to something that’s valuable.

In both the short and the long-term this has a beneficial outcome for both parties involved. The refugees themselves stay healthy and recover more quickly, enabling them to focus on cultural preparation, integration and education – whilst the state saves labour costs and resources within the asylum and healthcare system.