As the coronavirus spread around the world, and because refugees’ lives have been put under the spotlight as a matter of demanding and urgent response; Techfugees Lebanon has launched a series of online meetings to identify and discuss any optimal solutions at hand to overcome this hardship with the least disadvantages.
Our first online meeting which was entitled : Remote work solutions for refugees during the Covid-19 pandemic. We invited Mr.Hassan Skaiker, a Social entrepreneur and founder of The Hightee – a remote/freelance platform that aims to empower talented refugees in the Netherlands. We got the chance to hear from his experiences and comments on this kind of collaboration especially in times like these.
As an introduction word; Techfugees Lebanon’s lead Mr.Harout Mardirossian, started by pitching a study we made on the available methods to find remote work throughout the internet, especially for refugees’ communities. Harout mentioned some of the most active international remote/freelance work platforms such as Upwork, as well as some local ones such as Natakallam, Khamsat, Nabbesh, WorkAround and TaQadam, These tech-solutions grant refugees with the ability to teach their languages or classify and label data for data analysis and artificial intelligence projects.
These opportunities come with a few difficulties which include, but are not limited to, the legal procedure to transfer financial dues to refugees in exile countries, and taking in consideration the legal context of the working refugees in these countries.
Mr.Hassan analyzes his job search and finding process as “solving a complicated puzzle”. He describes his experience of establishing a startup that claims to collect job offers for refugees as a tough journey. Mr. Hassan actually explains that job finding relies on networking between companies that are sticking to the concept of refugees & newcomers empowerment in their new hosting communities. , Here Mr. Hassan underlined and insisted on the transmission of the following message to the audience: it is important to corporate in order to overpass this critical time. Also Mr. Hassan zoomed in on the travel bans everyone faces because of the quarantine and suggested using networking tools like LinkedIn to create a professional profile and a well-written resume as a top priority for new job seekers..
Then we got the chance to listen to our audience comments, Anas Al-Chalabi, an entrepreneurial programmes’ manager at Jussor organization, suggested to
- Focus on developing and learning the new range of skills needed to go through the current change in the business world,
- Think seriously of establishing more e-platforms where we can move from cash-paying to e-paying,
- Offer delivery services for customers.
Life is still going on and too many services are still required, all we have to do is find modern ways to reach out to clients.
Muzna, a Techfugees volunteer in Lebanon and humanitarian activist, lent the mic to list out the issues refugees are facing in times of e-working: the lack of devices and trainings are not the only ones, there is also the limited access to the internet in general, and on top of it the restriction of movements from/to their camps by the hosting authorities. All of this prevented refugees from receiving the proper guidance from specialists on how to survive the situation!
Let’s be optimistic though! said Nowar, the communication coordinator of our lebanese chapter. Nowar manages a growing startup and fights the plague daily by acknowledging the difficulties we’re facing, which is the basic step towards solving them all. Using the social media networks and reaching out for the potential customers was the cure of the great recession.
Building a story around your product is one million worth it since it links you with your customers’ lives. At least, that’s how Nowar gained a tangible increase of her sales rate lately.
Then we heard several words from others stressing out their experiences during the quarantine, and requiring for more on topic sessions. It’s time for achieving more while we define our priorities and reconsider our coming actions to collaborate from one place;)
At the end we invited our followers to join the next session which was held on the 22nd of April at 6 pm Beirut time under the title: Entrepreneurship programmes during Covid-19 situation.
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