How to turn the refugee “crisis” into an opportunity to innovate?

What is more powerful than seeing the idea of a project that had the potential to save lives becoming reality after only 6 months?

This is the exact feeling I had when SOS Méditerranée’s boat was launched in Marseille on February 20th. At the beginning, SOS Méditerranée was only an idea that was born among a few citizens, captains and doctors that were convinced something more was needed to secure the lives of refugees fleeing war and persecutions. This idea then evolved to become an association whose success mostly depended on the funds they could raise thanks to a crowdfunding campaign.

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Back in October 2015, a Hold-Up was organized to boost their campaign, and less than 6 months after, the boat was actually docked in Marseille, ready to fulfill its rescuing mission in the Mediterranean Sea.

Many projects developed by social entrepreneurs to help refugees have the potential to experience the same success, but unfortunately, many of them are still largely unknown today.

That’s why we decided to collect their challenges on the MakeSense platform, but also to go deeper by giving more visibility to the projects and tell all the little stories that are not being heard and showcased in the media. A web series on refugees will be created along with a team of film makers from What Took You So Long.

We started by meeting SOS Méditerranée during their “Open Boat” event in Marseille, and will continue to meet not only social entrepreneurs, but also refugees, volunteers, artists etc. in countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Berlin or Paris. To be able to spot the most impactful projects, we need you!

In Paris, we started with Ilyes, Laura, Clément, Marion, Charleyne, Rémy and Sonia to brainstorm about the first actions to implement. For instance, we will participate to the Techfugees Hackathon taking place on 12–13 March to identify innovative projects using technologies to build solutions for refugees, and help them accelerate their impact.

Do you know projects helping refugees in Belgium, England, Greece, Turkey or other countries in Europe?

Help by sharing with me (camille@makesense.org) their name, page, or contact!

With Solène, Hera, and other MakeSense volunteers, we will go meet them like Christian, Elsa, Ismail and Daniel did to find out about the challenges they are facing and help them develop their projects!

With the team of filmmakers What Took You So Long?, we are creating a web series to showcase other innovative projects that are saving or improving lives of refugees!

Let’s do it!

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Camille

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makesense est une communauté internationale de citoyens, d’entrepreneurs et d’organisations qui résolvent ensemble les défis sociaux et environnementaux

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