Bureaucrazy App: A group of six refugees living in Germany is currently in the process of developing a new smartphone based app.
Bureaucrazy app, which is being planned to be launched on January 1, 2017, guides the refugees through the German bureaucratic maze. Enthused by their personal experiences while trying to go through the legal processes, they have fittingly named the app as ‘Bureaucrazy’.
What is it all about?
The app is designed to translate various legal forms into English and Arabic for newcomers facing a ton of paperwork vacillating from registering with the German establishments to opening a bank account. Further, it will also provide the user with a map of all the offices that the refugees need to traverse. Finally, it also deals with other questions, a FAQ of sorts, about red tape that can leave refuge seekers in loops.
Why the name Bureaucrazy?
Funnily enough, the name of the app was derived from one of the team members Munzer Khattab, 23, who is originally from Latakia in Syria- when he mispronounced the word ‘Bureaucracy’. Another team member, Ghaith Zamrik, 19, remembered his experiences when he first arrived in Germany and said that it was surprising even Germans had problems understanding the 12 or so forms that they had to fill out.
Amazingly, none of the six team members have had any previous experience in coding. They learned and honed their skills at ReDI School of Digital Integration, an NGO which is dedicated to creating prospects for refugees by teaching them computer skills. Not only teaching, but the NGO also provides both space and mentors to back the refugees making software products.
The Goal and its Challenges
The goal of the group is to make Bureaucrazy help refugees in each and every aspect of their new lives, from opening a bank account for themselves to renting an apartment. Germany has seen roughly 1.2 million people pursue shelter inside the country since 2013. The latest terrorist attacks in Bavaria, which was carried out by a Syrian and an Afgan asylum seeker, have made a few Germans sceptical of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s initial open border policy.
Of course, no entrepreneur project has been successful without its problems and difficulties, and here there is a lot more. One of the biggest tasks for this Bureaucrazy project is raising funds. For a non-profit project, it is difficult to open a bank account and moreover, the government stops paying benefits as soon as the account balance surpasses a few hundred euros.
The Future is Bright
The Bureaucrazy team is planning to launch a crowd funding drive to raise money for new equipment and other software expenses. Bureaucrazy won a local software development competition in Germany and later drew praise at the Start-up Europe tech conference in 2016. This only serves to show that there is a lot of untapped potential amongst the refugees, which can do a lot to fill the gap of more than 170,000 available professional jobs in the science and technology sector, as stated by the German Institute for Economic Research.
We can only say- given the proper environment, the humanitarian decision taken by Germany to house the refugees can only lead to success for Germany in the future.