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PubNub and Speakfree to Provide Communication Services to Refugees

October 06, 2015

International Humanitarian Organizations have been swamped by the European refugee crisis. So PubNub’s collaboration with speakfree, an app that provides much-needed communication to displaced persons, couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

PubNub is a Data Stream Network (DSN) for mobile applications and the Internet of Things (IoT). The company is making its technology free and available to speakfree so it can deliver the instant messaging app service where it is needed.

Using the PubNub global network, speakfree can provide a platform where all the parties can communicate with each other and access the latest news, photographs and even video. This includes humanitarian organizations, NGOs, the refugees and local residents.

“PubNub is thrilled and humbled to help refugees easily connect with the organizations that can offer them much-needed assistance and with their friends and family during this crisis,” said Todd Greene, CEO, PubNub. “We hope that, through our technology, we’re able to break down communication barriers and ease the hardship these refugees are experiencing.”

Because the refugees are heading into different countries in Europe, language also becomes a barrier for effective communications. The app, which is free, can automatically translate messages from aid organizations in English, French, Arabic, Urdu and Dari.

Image via Shutterstock

Originally designed as an application for anonymous communication in real-time with others in the same area, it was adapted to provide critical information during the voyage of the refugees throughout Europe. Aid workers can now broadcast accurate information for the location of shelter and other services.

 “The current global refugee crisis is unprecedented and refugees benefit greatly from receiving up to date information about services that humanitarian organizations have to offer. Without PubNub, we would not have been able to deploy this app so quickly and be able to scale it to hundreds of thousands of refugees and aid workers in a very short time,” said Peter Muehlberger, founder and CEO of speakfree.

Refugees face many challenges as they make the arduous journey from the Middle East, Africa and other places to Europe. And when they reach Europe, they need resources to help them get where they are going. The collaboration between PubNub and speakfree will give them access to information and resources to help them complete their journey successfully.

This example of ethical business practices is a small, bright light in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, and we fully commend both companies for their efforts.

The speakfree app is available as a free download at Google Play and the iTunes Store.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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