- Region of Impact
- Crisis Response
Helping NGOs and aid workers translate critical information for refugees through an open-sourced app
What they do
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. Working in more than 40 countries around the world, Mercy Corps believes that communities are the best agents of their own change and local markets are the best engines of long-term recovery. When disaster or emergency strikes, Mercy Corps puts bold solutions into action, helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Mercy Corps receives support from organizations like Google and others to develop effective solutions to aid challenges. An example was during the European Refugee Crisis where Mercy Corps was responding to the needs of thousands of refugees traveling through Greece. A Google volunteer witnessed a Mercy Corps team member struggling to convey critical information to refugees because of language barriers and realized that a product that offered reliable translation assistance could help.
How we're helping
Translation Cards is an open source Android app that helps field workers and refugees communicate more effectively and confidently. With the help of Google volunteers, Mercy Corps partnered with ThoughtWorks and UNHCR to create the app. Translation Cards users can simply tap-and-play a flashcard for audio translations, allowing doctors, aid workers, and volunteers to communicate basic phrases in a listener’s native tongue. Cards can be pre-recorded or created on the fly, allowing for nimble exchanges. Moreover, the app does not run on a network, eliminating the need for an Internet connection. Besides conveying important information, the app also puts the ‘human’ back into humanitarian work by affording a one-on-one, personalized exchange.