Dr Carmen Logie an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto
ICT Industry

Canadian university to Support Bidi Bidi refugees with ICT Innovations

The University of Toronto is developing an app that will help adolescent refugees in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in West Nile to share Information on gender based violence among other issues affecting the youth in settlement camps.

According to Carmen Logie an Associate Professor at the University, who is behind the project, says this involves creating tablet apps that will allow the camp’s young people to describe their personal experiences especially on issues related gender-based violence, as well as issues like body image and autonomy.

“By using images, people will be able to understand these stories,” says Logie, an associate professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Works.

The project recently received funding support from the Grand Challenges Canada, a non-profit organization funded by Global Affairs Canada, via its Stars in Global Health grant. The grant funds ideas that combine technological, social and business innovations to address pressing global health challenges affecting marginalized population across the World.

The app project is expected to cost $99,000. The grant will pay for research co-ordination and data collection activities, including focus groups and workshops, and a solar power system to light up the digital tablets and support data collection. The team will also work with local artists to facilitate workshops and there are plans to hire young refugees as peer researchers.

Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement is one of the largest camp hosting refuges from Neighbouring countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo South Sudan Central Africa among other countries that are experiencing political conflicts. Currently, the camp hosts more than 225,000 internally displaced people, majority being adolescents and the youths.

The team to implement the project includes; Moses Okumu a PhD student at the University of Toronto and other officials from various government departments and agencies. The same project has been implemented in other African Countries such as Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and Lesotho alongside South American state of Haiti.