Conflict in places like Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, and Myanmar have caused millions to flee their homes. According to UNHCR, 70.8 million people have been forcibly displaced, the highest number since World War II. Nearly 26 million people worldwide have fled to other countries as refugees.
Refugees often lack access to legal services, and most find it hard to navigate the overly complicated legal systems that lead to permanent status and security. At the same time, many refugees have access to mobile phones, but lack the technology training to understand how these powerful tools can help solve critical challenges in the camps.
In 2020, PeaceTech Lab will partner with Shared_Studios and a global network of international legal experts on the PeaceTech On-Demand Services (PODS) for Refugees. The project will deliver world-class legal services and technology skills training to refugees in Kenya and Jordan through SMS and online platforms as well as virtual studios located inside refugee camps.
PeaceTech Lab is dedicated to finding solutions to local challenges by equipping community leaders with technology tools. It also has a field office in Kenya. The project will be broken down into two phases. Phase I will take place in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya beginning in May 2020. After a strong evaluation, PODS will be expanded out to provide support to refugees in Jordan's Zaatari Refugee Camp in November 2020.
Activities:PODS Setup: PeaceTech Lab will create an online portal to collect legal needs via website and SMS. PeaceTech Lab and Shared_Studios along with refugee youth from PeaceTech Lab’s past programs in Kakuma will set up a Portal in the refugee camp. PeaceTech Lab will work with refugees to maintain the portal throughout the program and transfer management skills to the refugees.
Legal Services: Based on the refugee needs, PeaceTech Lab will tailor live sessions to provide legal services to the refugees. These live sessions will be held once per week and legal information from the sessions will be archived as reference material.
Skills Training: PeaceTech Lab will then organize training sessions in the portal once a week where experts from various fields will be connected to refugees and train them on a variety of skills.