Founded by Soraya Beheshti, Karavan is a mobile app designed to foster integration at a community level. It facilitates skill/service exchanges between refugees and citizens using a points system.
Today, 60 million people displaced worldwide. One of the greatest challenges facing society is how best to build harmonious and tolerant communities. With the rise of nationalism perpetuating a fear of “outsiders” the potential for a united humanity is threatened. However, studies show that innumerable psychological benefits arise from the feeling of adding value to one’s community, as well as from nurturing meaningful connections with others. Integration into the economic, cultural and social spheres is the most effective way of rehabilitating refugees.
Work environments are one of the best places to meet people. However, as asylum seekers are prohibited from earning money in many countries, they are left with very few social arenas in which to make friends, leading them to feel disconnected, isolated, and demoralized. They are unique individuals with many skills and talents to offer. They want to resume normal lives, make connections, feel productive and valuable — and most of all, to feel a sense of belonging in their new communities
Karavan will launch in early 2017. The team have been gauging interest via the Facebook group Soraya started, which grew to nearly 4,000 members in two weeks. Meanwhile, they continue to do research projects in camps across Europe while encouraging more users to join the group. In addition they have created a crowdfunding page and are hosting events across major cities to raise money for app expenses.
You can contribute to our campaign to help make the dream of a #UnitedHumanity a reality here.