This Androis app centres on a FAQ list which addresses a vast array of issues with regard to arriving and living in North Rhine-Westphalia. Topics range from asylum procedure and healthcare to housing and sport. The information is delivered in English, French, Modern Standard Arabic and German, and parts of it can be accessed offline.
’Welcome to NRW’ enables refugees to use an interactive map to learn more about where they are: Where can I receive medical help? Where is the nearest town hall or citizens advice bureau? Where can I get my child looked after?
The app also features a phrasebook to make it easier for users to express their queries.
The ‘Welcome to NRW’ app, along with the www.welcome-to.nrw web site, was developed by the State Government in an alliance with Projekt „Germany Says Welcome“. This nationwide project involves a group of young people from across Germany, Israel and Switzerland who had met in September 2015 at a hackers’ conference in Cologne. Their aim has been to use their programming skills to help the many refugees in Germany.
In early November 2015, the young people and the government merged their aim to deliver a web-based service tailored to the needs of refugees. Whilst the youngsters took it upon themselves to do the programming for the app and the web site, content was provided by the State Government along with the necessary technical support. The project was mentored by experts from the Cologne-based Fachstelle für Jugendmedienkultur NRW , a centre for media education sponsored by the NRW Ministry of Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport.