Helping a world in crisis: Refugee Hero is ‘Airbnb’ for refugees

European government institutions cannot handle any more refugees

The international refugee crisis is reaching an all-time high mankind has not seen since the great migration of World War 2. Shelters and government institutions all over Europe are operating at maximum capacity and cannot handle the increasing inflow of refugees. Unorthodox solutions are needed to solve this humanitarian crisis. Refugee Hero connects heroes – ordinary people and their warm homes – with refugees and facilitates in temporary accommodation and overall facilities.

Founders Germaine Statia (23), Jamal Oulel (25) and Ayoub Aouragh (24) saw an opportunity in the current crisis. “We want to give back humanity to mankind,” says Germaine Statia. The social start-up does not have a revenue model but is in negotiations with municipalities. “Government institutions in the Netherlands alone spent 495 million Euros in 2014 to accommodate refugees,” says Jamal Oulel.

Refugee Hero

Refugee Hero is a – mobile friendly – website with similar functionality to Airbnb. Heroes post a listing to accommodate a refugee. Listings can come from private heroes or from organizations opening up their facilities; such as churches, mosques, schools and universities. Refugees can directly access their data to make an appointment or the volunteers and government officials responsible can use Refugee Hero as an intermediary.

Providing the refugees with a place to stay is not the long term goal of Refugee Hero. “We want the heroes to help the refugees find their way in a new, strange country,” says Ayoub Aouragh. This means Refugee Hero will grow to become a platform facilitating all important aspects linked to migration. This varies from helping refugees find a new school for their children or even arranging social security and applying for a passport.

RefugeeHero.com is available worldwide for all refugees. “We want to see how heroes and refugees react on our MVP,” says Germaine Statia.