Riding the Rainbow is a transformative initiative aimed at creating solidarity and empowering young refugees through the direct donation of bikes, balls, and sports equipment amongst much more. The project was initiated in February 2022 by Afrilanthropy in response to the influx of Ukrainians fleeing conflict. Its primary goal is to provide tangible support to young refugees, fostering empathy and integration while utilizing technology for a direct connection between donors and recipients.
The project was initiated as a response to the global refugee crisis, with over 80 million people displaced due to conflict and persecution worldwide. Riding the Rainbow seeks to address this crisis by providing essential items for young refugees, helping them rebuild their lives with a sense of normalcy through sports and recreation, but more importantly promote social interactions between refugees, organizations and local residents.
Technical details & Operations
The Riding the Rainbow application is a user-friendly platform available as a mobile app and website. Local residents can easily create listings for the items they wish to donate, including bikes, balls, and sports equipment, complete with descriptions and photos. The application incorporates geolocation, enabling refugee parents to locate donated items on a map and connect with donors securely through in-app chat. Refugee support organizations can also use the app to launch appeals to the local community, announce relevant events and use the app to collect those same items. The Luxembourg Red Cross has been one of the key users of the app.
- Geolocation: The app employs geolocation services to pinpoint the exact location of donated items on a map. This feature allows refugees to easily find the objects and makes the pickup process efficient and hassle-free.
- Secure Chat: A secure chat function within the app ensures that communication between donors and recipients remains private and secure. It enables both parties to discuss the details of the donation, including pickup times and locations
- Database Management: The application maintains a comprehensive database of donated items, their descriptions, and photos. This information ensures transparency and helps donors showcase their offerings effectively
Riding the Rainbow is designed to bridge the gap between different publics, including refugees and locals, by fostering empathy and integration:
- Direct Connection: The app creates a direct link between donors and refugee parents. This direct interaction breaks down barriers and builds a sense of trust and understanding
- Empathy-Driven: Riding the Rainbow encourages users to share their stories and experiences on the platform. Donors can express why they are contributing, while refugee parents can share their gratitude. These personal narratives generate empathy, making the act of giving more meaningful.
- Community Building: The app fosters a sense of community by allowing users to follow the progress of the project, connect through social media, and participate in discussions about refugee issues. It encourages users to unite for a common cause.
Deployment & Impact
Riding the Rainbow has rapidly expanded, with nearly a thousand children receiving support, 1600 users in various EU countries within less than a year and 40 organizations involved, including charities, sports organizations, political and church groups The impact has often gone beyond the donation, as the encounters between donors and refugees have often led to concrete social integration opportunities (e.g. people found jobs, children joining sports clubs alongside with donor etc.). The project also employs refugees and developers operating out of Ukraine