Published 2015-12-10

Blocket employees create app for refugees

Emma Rosman and Kim Wijk from Blocket have created an online service where locals and refugees can connect.

The app Welcome! makes everyday life easier for newly arrived refugees.

Blocket colleagues Emma Rosman and Kim Wijk recognized the need for an online service that makes it easier for locals and asylum seekers to network. Many of the services existing today are focusing on contact with authorities, but the new app Welcome! is opening up for something new and equally important: the possibility to get to know new people and get integrated in to society.

“Emma told me about her idea to connect locals and refugees to reduce the barrier between them and ever since then everything has just been moving forward,” says Kim Wijk, CTO at Welcome!

The community makes it possible for refugees to get instant answers to questions on anything they need to know about Swedish society. It also opens up for people to get to know each other and take part in social activities. The service is a great way for people who want to help out.

“This is how we are able to do our part and we want to send that message to our users: it doesn’t have to be that complicated to help out,” Kim Wijk says.

In order to make Welcome! accessible to people who does not have access to Wi-Fi telecom company Telenor is contributing by letting all of their customers use the app free of charge.

To raise awareness about the service they are cooperating with refugee centers all over Sweden, hoping to attract many users. Several other collaborations are underway and Blocket is one of the companies that has contributed so far.

“That really shows what a cool and modern company Blocket is, and that they really focus on good things,” says Wijk. 

There are about 30 people working pro-bono with Welcome!, that will be launched in December.