ROC recognizes the innate value of friendships and knowledge sharing across borders, whether that be physical or cultural boundaries. To facilitate relationship building between ROC members interested in alleviating social, political and economic difficulties present when one experiences displacement with people currently facing displacement and living in a refugee camp ROC organized a pen pal program. Currently, the Pen Pal program connects ROC members with people currently facing displacement in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi over Whatsapp.
Over these past 6 months we have worked in collaboration with Michigan State University’s department of Computer Engineering and the AppFactory to create an app for the pen pal program. MSU computer engineering students joined an independent study to create the app alongside AppFactory members for college credit. The AppFactory is a UNHCR and Microsoft joint funded initiative that teaches people recognized with refugee status in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi. Together the MSU and AppFactory students have worked with ROC e-board member Sari Sadiya, who is overseeing the app creation process to create a pen pal app centered on knowledge sharing and relationship building.
We anticipate the app to be ready for Beta testing at the end of September and will be sure to post updates as we have them!