Lesvos, a beautiful island right off the coast of Greece and Turkey, that has been hit hard by the refugee crisis. It is home to two refugee camps: RIC Lesvos (home to 13,000 refugees) and Kara Tepe Hospitality Center (home to 1,200 refugees). Our team visited the island twice in the past year.
During these visits, we listened as refugee teenagers, youth, and young adults shared their harrowing journeys and their current lives with us. But the thing that surprised our team the most, was just how similar we were to our refugee peers. We bonded over things like shared interests in engineering, our passion for giving back to those we love, and our desire to reach our goals for the future.
However, we knew exactly how we could use our education to achieve our dreams for the future, while our refugee friends had no idea how they could reach those same goals now that they lived in a camp. This difference broke our heart — we knew we had to do something to help these incredibly motivated young people take the first step towards their future goals.
Although many of the refugees we met had left behind school programs, 95% of the youth we talked to told us they were more interested in learning skills that would help them get a job rather than finishing or continuing formal schooling. They viewed practical, vocational skills as the highest learning priority, because those skills were transferable to the workforce.
Limited physical classroom space, month long waiting lists for NGO classes, the language barrier, and a highly mobile lifestyle make it almost impossible for refugees to continue their education. Existing ed-tech app’s high subscription fees, lack of offline access, and lack of relevant topics to refugees make them inaccessible to our user group. Our team felt that there had to be a better way.
That better way became Key. Key is an offline education application that empowers refugee students through skills-based learning. Key delivers content through curated video playlists on select topics based on jobs needed in desired asylum countries. Our mission is to help educate the world's most eager learners — refugees.