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An app to support the next generation of refugee students

3 Sided Cube were approached by UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) as they wanted to develop new innovative technology solutions that facilitates meaningful connections to support the next generation of refugee students.

The Challenge?

3 Sided Cube were approached by UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) as they wanted to develop a new innovative technology solution that facilitates meaningful connections that span countries and cultures to support the next generation of refugee students.

Higher education transforms the lives of those who have access to it and has a long-lasting positive impact on whole communities. Only 3% of young refugees are currently enrolled in some form of higher education. Without education, displaced communities are deprived of the leadership that others take for granted. On a personal level, it is the surest road to recovering a sense of purpose and dignity after the trauma of displacement.    

UNHCR wanted Connecting Worlds Mentor to utilise secure messaging to facilitate authentic, safe conversations between supporters and refugees in order to make it possible for them to pursue their education and transform not only their own lives but of the communities around them. As they are a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, they were after a digital solution with a safe and robust platform to amplify its amazing work.

We immediately set to work to deliver them just the solution.

The Solution

The solution, Connecting Worlds Mentor, which was created in consultation with refugees, is a react native app that utilises multi-language content. The primary focus of the app is security because the safety of refugees is essential. So 3 Sided Cube included many checkpoints in place to ensure this. 

This app allows refugees and donors to set up a profile and then become matched with someone of the same gender. Once profiles are approved, the donor is prompted to send their first message, which is then automatically translated into the native language of the recipient. As additional fail-safes, there are two human interventions as well as an intermediary API to ensure the content adheres to the UNHCR Community standards and that communication is translated accurately. As well as integrations with Google and Azure APIs the app utilises the ZenDesk support platform to ensure users can communicate seamlessly with UNHCR directly to raise any issues.

Donations to Connecting Worlds Mentor provide an entire one-year scholarship to bright refugee students. This enables UNHCR supporters and refugee students to come together to create a mentoring relationship where professional knowledge and support are shared with the next generation of talented refugees. Time on the app provides invaluable support, guidance, and access to skills and experiences that are so important to people at a crucial time in their lives.  


What does the app do?

Allow messaging between donor and refugee

The app allows you to send messages and images, save messages to create a memories section.

Profile creation & matching criteria

The ability to select a field of study, specialism, and desired goal with new matching criteria to better suit the academic connection

Timelines feature

A carefully curated content feed which comprises community and impact features as well as News from the field.

Automatic push notifications

To encourage interaction between donor and refugee each week.

From the very first brief, 3 Sided Cube not only understood the concept but threw everything at it to develop a world first app that has been welcomed by donors and refugees.

Lara Schlotterbeck, UNHCR Connecting Worlds Mentor Project Lead


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