Making it easier for asylum seekers to access services and support.

Refugees often leave behind not just homes and jobs, but their entire support network of friends, colleagues and loved ones. In an unfamiliar country, they often struggle to find the resources they need and are entitled to.

Markus Kainradl, Senior Protection Assistant at UNHCR in Vienna, Austria, wanted to make it easier for asylum seekers to get the services and support that would help them succeed in their new environment—things like legal assistance, language classes and information about job opportunities.

He knew that help was available from UNHCR, the Austrian government, and various NGOs. It was just a matter of creating a simple tool that would allow refugees to find it.

As a UNHCR iFellow, Markus worked on developing the Asylum Support Map, which aggregated information about all the services and organizations that refugees in Vienna might need in one online platform.

The interactive, user-friendly online map makes it easy for asylum seekers and refugees to find services based on their location or by the category of support they need. It also provides comprehensive information on each listing including the organization’s opening hours, languages spoken, and whether an appointment is necessary to visit.

In addition to featuring the Asylum Support Map on the homepage of UNHCR Austria, all participating organizations offering anything from subsidized daycare to psychosocial support can place it on their own social media platforms.

After users and experts weigh in on the utility and ease of using the Asylum Support Map, it could be expanded to include even more resources that refugees can use as they build new lives, and new support systems.

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