2 weeks after launch, we are overwhelmed by the response to refugeehelp.nl: 65K users and over 2,600 comments and suggestions.
Thanks to the entire team VluchtelingenWerk Nederland and NAVARA, all partner organizations, and all the people who are offering their help via the platform.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION REFUGEEHELP.NL
The aim of RefugeeHelp.nl is to help refugees who arrive in the Netherlands by offering them one clear and central online platform where they can go for all relevant issues and needs such as shelter, food, medical care, legal help, work, education etc. This platform will also serve to give individuals, companies and institutions who want to contribute a place to do so.
A brief overview of the most important elements of the platform today:
Fully developed from the perspective of refugees. Refugees are actively involved in the development through interviews and working sessions.
Available in English, Ukrainian and Russian, developed for cell phones.
The central place with all information for refugees in the Netherlands, with the latest information and references to relevant (government) agencies, NGOs and current (local) initiatives.
We believe that this platform offers a number of clear advantages: One accessible and transparent overview of initiatives for both refugees and volunteers. Lots of relevant information from all parties so that there are fewer questions arising on the supply and demand side. Reduced pressure on the involved organizations. Increased transparency of what refugees need and where bottlenecks exist. The platform will be further developed and new components and functionalities will be added in the near future in order to better match supply and demand.
SparkOptimus and Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland started the initiative together because we experience a momentum and great willingness among the various organizations and companies involved to work on this together. The starting point is that this platform transcends all parties and does not belong to one organization, but to everyone. Leading digital parties are involved as well as various organizations and government agencies.
The SparkOptimus team incl. Ukrainian refugee Julia from Kharkov
The focus will initially be on building a platform for Ukrainian refugees, but later it will naturally expand to a platform that can also be used for refugees from other countries. The aim is to get a first version live as soon as possible given the high urgency, but also to establish a sustainable organization that can realize a continuous series of improvements in the coming months and years.