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SIX interview series #WorldRefugeeDay: Connecting skills through Timepeace

Published Date: 21 June 2017

SIX interviewed the girls who created the Timepeace app

1. Tell us about your work. Why do you do what you do? 

We are a not for profit organisation building an app to help refugees and locals integrate by sharing skills and activities based on time not money. We are doing this because we believe that building walls only serves to isolate us and cause more problems. Instead, if we build a mutually beneficial platform where strangers can connect and share ideas and passions with each other, in this way we can shatter negative views towards refugees and enrich society.  We hope to highlight that we can in fact co-exist peacefully in more diverse communities where all people are valued and given the chance to a better and more supported life. 

2. Why is your project/work different from existing work? What’s innovative about it? 

Although there are similar initiatives set up in other European countries, there is still nothing exactly like this, especially here in the UK. Our app features (works for both iOS and android, GPS, multi-lingual, linked in with other established charities and volunteer organisations...) and the invaluable help and advice we’ve received from our friends (both refugees and locals) has helped us to create an app that is truly unique and caters to individuals and groups who want to get involved as well as charities who can build profiles on our system.  

3. Can you tell us about a defining moment where you could see the impact of your work? What are you most proud of in your work?

 When we set up a Facebook page as an interim before the completion of the app itself, we started getting messages from people around the world from as far as Russia asking if we could help them find a teacher for all sorts of things, from piano teachers to someone who just wanted some emotional support and english language lessons. When friends who happen to also be refugees asked us if they could download the app yet, this made us even more eager to get the app built as quickly as possible. We are most proud of how despite having started with no money or a clear idea of how to build an app, as well as living separate lives between us and rarely being in the same country at the same time, we managed to build this organisation in just 3 months and have been really moved by the level of support from so many people from all over the beautiful planet we live on! As cheesy as it might sound, this is what truly inspires us to keep going, that the project encompasses this idea of people from all walks of life, coming together as a community, helping and respecting one another in new and exciting ways! 

4. What challenges keep you awake at night? 

 The challenge of balancing TimePeace demands with our own separate jobs and lives. We are also trying to develop something which will inevitably face obstacles and hurdles as we continue to live in a world where living in peace is still a privilege not a given. But the passion we all equally feel for this project is worth the sweat, energy and flexibility it demands. We as individuals (Alex, Alice and I) love challenges and trying to overcome them together. We have a lot of trust in each other which I think is key to any organisation trying to build something that reflects the personal ethos and values of all individuals involved. 

5. What is your hope for the future? How will your work contribute to this hope?

We hope that this app will help create more integrated (not to be confused with assimilated) communities around the world. We hope that we can reframe the refugee crisis image into a more positive one, showing that societies can gain so much by allowing refugees and asylum seekers the same opportunities as locals. We hope that people will learn from each other and respect one another more than they did before and we hope to tackle the isolation, mental health issues and radicalisation that may occur when not enough support is given to those who have been displaced or those feeling excluded from any given society (this applies to both locals and asylum seekers who have just arrived). 

You can support them here on their crowdfunding page

Tags: Migration