Startup Launches Info App for Refugees

Finnish education sector startup Funzilife launched a mobile information and learning service for refugees arriving to its home market on Thursday, and said it plans to launch further services in other European countries during rest of the year. Some 17,000 asylum seekers have reached Finland this year, so already five times more than the total for the whole of 2014.

In total hundreds of thousands have streamed into Europe from the Middle East, Africa and Asia this year, creating a refugee crisis often compared to the aftermath of Second World War. The app contains information from official sources that will enable immigrants to operate more efficiently and find the authorities at different stages of the immigration process.

Refugee Children
Refugee children. Photo: From file

The service is free for the user. The first learning package helps to develop skills that can be utilised in everyday life and contribute to the student’s integration into Finnish society.

“Country specific learning packages for asylum seekers will be published throughout the EU. No other similarly effective and scalable service for immigrant integration exists,” Funzilife CEO Tero Salonen said in a statement.

Funzi is looking for co-operation partners to create country specific information. Originally Funzi had been developed for the emerging markets and the service is in use in several African countries, teaching entrepreneurship and job skills.

Funzi is designed as mobile first, for circumstances where the widest screen available for information sharing is a mobile phone. Additionally Funzi provides mobile courses for employment and entrepreneurship, which can help immigrants to bring their professional skills to the labour market. In the future the learning content will be expanded in cooperation with local companies.