This Online Social Startup Is the Airbnb for Refugees
Rent out your spare room to someone who needs it.
Despite what governmental and mainstream media outlets may have you believe, Australia isn't the only nation where people are desperately seeking asylum. Europe's currently in the middle of a very real refugee crisis, with the civil war in Syria leaving over four million Syrians displaced and looking for a new, safe home. That's an absolutely unfathomable amount of people. And while most of us have gawked and sat around wondering what we can do to help refugees, three Dutch twenty-somethings have actually gone and done something about it, creating a new non-profit accommodation platform for refugees.
Refugee Hero essentially works like Airbnb. It looks a lot like it too. The website allows people to advertise their spare room to refugees looking for a place to stay when they arrive in a new country. It's geared around people putting up rooms available in their residential homes, but organisations are encouraged to open up their facilities, such as churches, mosques, schools and universities as well. And the best part is, the service 100 percent free. In that regard, it's more like Couchsurfing than Airbnb — but with hosts that are socially conscious legends with hearts of gold.
The Netherlands-based startup was founded by Germaine Statia, Jamal Oulel, and Ayoub Aouragh, who are all aged 23-25. "We want to give back humanity to mankind," says Germaine Statia on their website. Since launching in September last year, Refugee Hero has rooms listed everywhere from Bulgaria to Johannesburg to Maryland in the States. And while there aren't any Australian listings yet, we can't see any reason why you can't get involved. Hop to it!
Published on January 27, 2016 by Lauren Vadnjal