owned this note
Let us connect the dots - starting with the digital society, open source and dev ops community - to support effective organizations in their efforts to **Send Help, Find Shelter and provide Legal Support** for all those affected by conflict in the Ukraine. Let us welcome and reach out to people - all people - who need extra support, and for whatever reason are not yet able to get this in the offical channels. Let us help those displaced in a tolerant, apolitical, respectful and consequential way. Let us invest our time into community and cyber-infrastructure resilience, as we have been doing in the past, and as we must for the times to come. :clipboard: Feel free to edit this pad or add comments. :speech_balloon: Connect with us in [this chat server](https://team.opendata.ch/signup_user_complete/?id=y356661dtj8jjnaqu44frw7sdh). :gem: Technical work [currently here](https://github.com/loleg/couchers/tree/bienvenue-en-suisse). :mega: A draft [event being set up](https://db.schoolofdata.ch/event/22#top) to coordinate further work. # Safe Harbor from Warships It would be great if we could invite more people from Ukraine to Switzerland. Here we have enough space, money and resources to offer you a life in safety and dignity. The Ukrainian community in Switzerland is comparatively small. That is why refugees do not necessarily think of Switzerland. A platform could help to make the offer known. **Update 1.3.22:** Official position from Mario Fehr of the Swiss canton of Zürich: the Canton and Municipalities have enough capacities to receive ukranian refugees. Private initiatives are welcome "It is a sign of solidarity". The canton will coordinate offers. Poeple who would like to take in refugees, should contact directly the municipalities or the canton. See statement in [local media](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_1cf84183d1f87d56d58c7461a15168fd.png), official [press release](https://www.zh.ch/de/news-uebersicht.html?page=1&orderBy=new) pending. **Update 3.3.22:** Over 20'000 people have offered their homes through the Campax initiative. There are some concerns about data protection that we should help to address. Quite a lot of existing platforms being used to coordinate, but we are still continuing. ## Tasks - [x] assess existing initiatives in an open working document - [x] get feedback from people who know what needs to be done - [x] start evaluation of technical stack for rapid deployment - [x] gel a set of values, get working and lead by example - [x] prototype open, safe, community-organized support - [x] translation, testing, spreading the word Currently looking for a: - [ ] Native Ukrainian speaker to translate and correct content (we might ask someone from https://t.me/berlintranslators) - [ ] A flair for visual design and can help us with layout and comms - [ ] Member of a relevant organization that may want us to work with them # Get Help! What are the best organisations you can contact once you reach another country? We could start with a page listing authorities as well as NGOs and good local connections. Details could go into a database, and we should connect to their initiatives and offer support. Local examples: - SRK Kanton Bern - [Eins zu Eins](https://www.srk-bern.ch/de/mitmachen/freiwillig-mitarbeiten/eins-zu-eins/) People-to-people commitment: In "One to One", volunteers accompany recognised refugees in their integration in everyday life. - City of Bern - [Asylsozialdienst](https://www.bern.ch/politik-und-verwaltung/stadtverwaltung/bss/sozialamt/asylsozialdienst) The asylum social service provides social assistance to persons in the asylum sector, coordinates their integration planning, offers them counselling and support and refers them to other specialised agencies if necessary. - City of Zürich - [Privates Engagement für Flüchtlinge](https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/aoz/de/index/integration/privates-engagement-fuer-fluechtlinge.html) Diverse social commitment in favour of refugees in the Zurich area We have reached out with our concept to https://www.lphr.org/en/ukraine-hilfe/ who provide already this kind of targeted advice. # Find Shelter! This is the purpose a web application with a way to search and filter offers from hosting families and organizations. See several examples of this in [Related initiatives](#Related-initiatives). Technically, we could set this up with an [Airtable](https://airtable.com/shrqoqOMs5vD4fdfb), Google Form etc., but would prefer to be on an **open source** (or at least open source friendly!), locally hosted (data in Switzerland, with very clear conditions), and as-secure-as-possible (encryption, personal data protection, no tracking, verified identity) platform that is well suited to offering hospitality. Some people have commented, that this is basically [AirBnB.org](https://www.airbnb.org/) or [Couchsurfing](https://www.couchsurfing.com/). We are therefore looking into some "AirBnB-clone" projects which could be modified to provide a similar function as the [elinor](https://elinor.network/gastfreundschaft-ukraine/) or [Refugees Welcome](http://www.refugees-welcome.net/) (among [other platforms](https://migreat.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/top-3-innovative-initiatives-supporting-refugees-integration-and-rights-in-europe/)) from Germany, and be mostly self-serviced and scalable. One possible way to quickly get started is to aggregate and rank offers from existing portals. Translation is key: the platform should offer support in Ukranian, all Swiss national languages, English and more. ``` Ця інформація українською мовою / This information in English / Dieses Information auf Deutsch / Ce document en Français / Questo documento in italiano / Информация по-русски / ... ``` ### Comments :speech_balloon: - Aus meinen Erfahrungen ist es viel mehr das Problem, das Angebot an Wohnungen und Unterstützung bekannt zu machen, als Leute zu finden, die helfen wollen. Darum finde ich Find Shelter eine top Idee. .. Super wäre, möglichst schnell ein Portal mit Angeboten und smartem Prozess auf Ukrainisch zu haben. (Daniel G) - Zur Sprachenfrage: Aus pragmatischen Gründen würde ich Russisch als weitere Plattform-Sprache nicht ausschließen. Allein schon deshalb, weil viele hilfswillige Menschen Russisch (aber nicht Ukrainisch) sprechen. Und die allermeisten UkrainerInnen Russisch verstehen. Falls man - aus verständlichen Gründen - alle russischen Inhalte auch auf ukrainisch haben möchte kann man problemlos mit Google Translate übersetzen. Die Qualität einer ukrainisch-russischen Übersetzung ist wegen der ähnlichen Sprachstruktur um ein Vielfaches höher als bspw. Deutsch-Ukrainisch oder Englisch-Ukrainisch. (Salome A) We are evaluating several open source platforms: ### 1. Couchers ![](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_44aa33c04b9e09ce7b020dce53b05b60.jpg) _(Screenshot of the official service)_ ![](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_a8cfc4711e2b212768f14d9e377fb063.jpg) ![](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_ca2ab2c3a7905d9f237a5fe243eea0cd.png) _(Screenshots of our local test server)_ This new couchsurfing alternative is run by a [non-profit foundation](https://couchers.org/foundation) in the US, and has about one hundred users in Switzerland. Note that couchsurfing ("social travel") is typically short term and not necessarily thought of as 'welcoming a displaced person' - though the community may be very receptive anyway, and in any case the software seems to match our needs. The [Terms of use](https://couchers.org/terms) state: "Information used in verification must be truthful and accurate, this includes your birth date, your gender identity, your legal name, and your verification address." The data of the public server is hosted in (US-based) Amazon Web Services, and Google Analytics are being used. A user account is easy to create and delete. The code is fully open source (Python) at https://github.com/Couchers-org and has a moderately active community. Much of the development is discussed openly in the [Forum](https://community.couchers.org/). The app is [translated](https://github.com/Couchers-org/couchers/blob/develop/docs/translations.md) using the [weblate](https://translate.couchershq.org/projects/couchers/#languages) tool (EN/IT/RU/...DE/FR started). - [X] Looked through the source code and deployment guide. - [X] Made a development environment and did local testing. - [X] Looked into requirements of running a remote server. ### 2. BeWelcome ![](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_dfb6fa674709e43256e951a7b91e2503.jpg) ![](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_99f25e367bc44e5980652806aac777bf.png) Hundreds of locations in Switzerland are already published on https://www.bewelcome.org/search/map - a site run by the French association BeVolunteer. The software is open source (PHP) at https://github.com/BeWelcome and [translated](https://github.com/BeWelcome/rox/tree/develop/translations) into many languages (EN/DE/FR/IT/RU/...). It should be quite easy to deploy, however it does not have a very active open source community around it and little developer documentation. When creating a user profile, you indicate your interest to host somebody on a sliding scale. You also have to provide your home address, full legal name, date of birth, gender, mother tongue and e-mail address. It is not clear how this is verified. The [Terms of use](https://www.bewelcome.org/privacy/en) do not go into a lot of detail about how this information is stored, and we might assume based on the code that all their staff have full access to your personal data. They do promise to keep all data in Europe, and we did not detect trackers on the site. They have some good public content, like the [Safety section](https://www.bewelcome.org/safety). However, seeing details of the internal workings such as translation efforts first require login. - [X] Looked through the source code and deployment guide. - [ ] Made a development environment and did local testing. - [ ] Looked into requirements of running a remote server. ### 3. Boston MAP Network ![](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_29561692a3e4c315d4fdb5e3893963dc.jpg) [Boston MAP Network](https://www.bostonmapnetwork.org/): "Comprehensive and accessible services to promote the self-sufficiency and to amplify the voices of asylum seeker, refugee, and immigrant communities" This is a portal for migrants in Boston, USA that started under the name "Refugees Welcome!" in [2016](https://www.bostonmapnetwork.org/history.html). People and institutions can simply apply to [join the network](https://www.bostonmapnetwork.org/join-our-network.html). It offers a very tidy [map of the city](https://migrantservicemap.com/) with information on various services for migrants - as shown in the screenshot. The map is open source (JavaScript) at https://github.com/codeforboston/migrant_service_map and is based on Firebase from a [Google Spreadsheet](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vT4MST1klxwmBdfvMhOycfV5C-lxGe0_sidJnmGS8U42irBYhgazisd-OUjrI4V9l_GqnazklGhNjzJ/pub) of the (moderated) Google Forms responses. Of the three projects, this is the one that is by far easiest to deploy - but relies on external, currently US-based providers. - [X] Looked through the source code and deployment guide. - [ ] Made a development environment and did local testing. - [ ] Looked into requirements of running a remote server. ### 4. Develop from scratch It would be straightforward to use [Django]() or another modern CMS / ORM to create a website like the above. The main issue with all the options listed above is the lack of encryption of the personal user data, meaning that administrators and crackers can easily do exports of all the personal profiles on the platform. The main deterrent to this is, of course, operational excellence. As each of the teams behind the platforms commit to do. If we want to run a more community-based, distributed effort, then we need to set up a trust-less environment. A platform based on [Self-Sovereign Identity](https://tykn.tech/self-sovereign-identity/), using [Zero Knowledge Proofs](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-knowledge_proof), or using a data privacy first provider of identity services is the best way forward either in a "from scratch" solution, or as an improvement to an existing platform. - [ ] Found and recommended existing solutions/examples of this kind. - [ ] Made a development environment and did local testing. - [ ] Looked into requirements of running a remote server. --- # Background In the rapidly escalating conflict with Russia, thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing the country. There is support and infrastructure in official channels. Nevertheless, anticipating the potential displacement of thousands - not all of them **able or willing** to seek refugee status - we are discussing how to pool resources and efforts from the side of the (digital) civil society. Quickly, people have set up a messaging group on WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. or an openly editable document, with addresses of people offering homestays and other help. These are risky solutions: you're leaking **personal data**, not vetting the intentions of applicants of recipients, not really doing the refuge-seekers or -givers a favour if your network is "too" open as in the case of the Berlin-based Telegram channel which was overrun by neo-nazis. Also there is concern about **digital abuse**: trolling, griefing and fake news in all public Internet services relevant to the topic. There is a need for subtlety to avoid both local and international compromising. This pad discusses needs and solutions for **independent and safe** (in the sense of data protection and overall) matching of refugee needs to supporters. We may end up just trying to help by providing critical advice to an existing initative. Let's not reinvent wheels, but build on reliable platforms. Probably a mix of helpful instructions on helping yourself using the media you already trust - and an easily implemented and distributed tool is best. Let's not create solutions that only address the current crisis in the Ukraine, but respond to the needs of all refugees that we can realistically help. Let's get organized and do this. :fist: # People - Daniel H - Solve data protection problems - Get in touch with lawyers with specialization in migration law - Motivate donations and other contributions - Oleg L - Planning and organization support - Tech platforms, security, social networking, data wrangling - Translation to and from Russian, German, French, English - Daniel G - Igniting hearts and writing mission statements - Connecting us to the right people - Rousing political support - - - - **You!** # Motivation Threads on Twitter with ideas of how to support refugees, with ideas of various matching platforms in other countries, that motivated this project :point_down: [sibylle berg on Twitter](https://twitter.com/SibylleBerg/status/1497232188869332995) 4:29 PM · Feb 25, 2022 > “Is there an organisation you can contact if you have space for people who have fled? If anyone knows people, even remotely, who want to get out of the madness, even if it's just to calm down children or elderly people for a while, offer them space if you have some to spare.” (auto-translated from German) [Daniel Graf 🚀 on Twitter](https://twitter.com/dani_graf/status/1497342973343723520) 11:49 PM · Feb 25, 2022 > “With which (existing) platform could private Swiss apartments or rooms be offered to refugees from #Ukraine ? In the next few days people will arrive who need accommodation. We have enough space!” ## Related initiatives [unterzeichnen.ch](https://www.unterzeichnen.ch/) > People are fleeing from Ukraine. Call on Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter to grant protection to 10,000 war refugees from the Ukrainian crisis region. :+1: More than 18'000 people have supported this initiative. [#MyHomeIsYourCastle](https://bit.ly/myhomeisyourcastle_howto) (Google Docs) > Shelters for war refugees from Ukraine People from Ukraine are fleeing and seeking protection from the war. Let's give them a safe haven! In Switzerland, private individuals are willing to provide rooms, flats or houses free of charge or for life... :+1: Words of encouragement, in the form of a hashtag and a nice info-page. [ronorp - Shelter for Ukraine](https://www.ronorp.net/zuerich/immobilien/unterschlupf-fuer-ukraine.1404) :+1: Listings in a popular online portal, along with guidance and moderation. [elinor - Gastfreundschaft Ukraine](https://elinor.network/gastfreundschaft-ukraine/) > Accommodation for people from Ukraine: The war in Ukraine concerns us in this country! Refugees from Ukraine will also arrive in our country and will be dependent on our support. Here you can provide practical help by offering overnight accommodation. Thank you for your solidarity and support! :+1: A project from Germany, recommended by many, run by well-known [betterplace gut](https://www.betterplace.org/c/ueber-uns/gut-org). [UkraineNow](https://www.ukrainenow.org/i-can-host) :+1: This is the initiative of US-based non-profit Radical Philanthropies, created in 2020 to help with COVID, that offers direct support to Ukranians and connects people who want to host them. There is little detail on the process behind the scenes. [asylex chatbot](https://asylex.bryter.io/s/Ddmn1KQmSvyIKnwmeHkuYA/ukraine) > AsyLex is a Swiss online legal advisory service for refugees - therefore we cannot advise on any law apart from Swiss law. :+1: Simple to use interface (mobile phone compatible) to get legal advice. ![](https://md.coredump.ch/uploads/upload_6d84571046d169f740ea169eff1d9edc.png) --- :question: ... please add any others you find. ## Relevant press SWI swissinfo - [Up to 2,000 Ukrainians could seek refuge in Switzerland](https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/up-to-2-000-ukrainians-could-seek-refuge-in-switzerland/47383374) > Depending on the duration and intensity of the war, a few hundred or up to 2,000 people from Ukraine could seek refuge in Switzerland. BBC News - [Ukraine conflict: Children on their own, parents stay behind](https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60539104) > Ukraine conflict: Mothers and grandmothers lead their children into the unknown as men aged 18 - 60 must stay behind. Nau - [Kostenlose Züge für Flüchtlinge](https://www.nau.ch/news/schweiz/ukraine-konflikt-sbb-prufen-kostenlose-zugfahrten-fur-fluchtlinge-66118451) > Die SBB prüfen derzeit, ob Flüchtende von Ukraine-Konflikt gratis in Fernzügen reisen dürfen. Andere europäische Bahnunternehmen haben dies bereits eingeführt. New York Times - [Europe opens doors for its own](https://www.firstpost.com/world/europe-opens-doors-for-its-own-as-ukraine-refugees-get-shelter-where-others-struggled-to-find-place-10411731.html) > Countries that have for years resisted taking in refugees from wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now opening their doors to Ukrainians as Russian forces carry out a nationwide military assault. FairPlanet - [The swelling humanitarian crisis in Ukraine](https://www.fairplanet.org/editors-pick/the-swelling-humanitarian-crisis-in-ukraine/) > The United Nations expects Ukraine’s European neighbours to welcome most refugees, though international solidarity along this vein has also been expressed Daily Dot - [Facebook, Google Maps help fleeing Crimean refugees](https://www.dailydot.com/debug/crimea-google-maps-facebook/) (2014) > Even before Russia’s annexation of Crimea, there were crowds of people trying to evacuate the region. Now, thousands are reportedly pouring into mainland Ukraine following the successful Russian invasion. Naturally, the Internet is doing its part, crowdsourcing temporary homes for as many refugees as possible through social media and a brilliant use of Google Maps. *(Note: the website has since gone dark, but you can find a [screenshot here](https://inforesist.org/aktivisty-sozdali-sajt-pomoshhi-v-poiske-zhilya-dlya-zhitelej-kryma/))*