Bangladesh-based W3 Engineers Ltd. Receives Investment to Build an Off-grid Messaging Application to Bring Connectivity to Some of the World’s 68 Million Forcibly Displaced People Living in Refugee Camps.
KHULNA, BANGLADESH (DECEMBER 6, 2018) – W3 Engineers Ltd. (“W3 Engineers”) has been selected by the UNICEF Innovation Fund to build an open source messaging solution to improve the lives of those living in refugee camps. According to the UNHCR, there are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, 25.4 million of whom are refugees.
The UNICEF Innovation Fund began looking for blockchain startups earlier this year to support with equity-free investments for “ideas that benefited humanity.” The refugee camp messaging application that uses mobile mesh networking technology, is one of the first blockchain-supported initiatives selected under this program..
The project will include the creation of a mobile application that works even when no Internet or cellular service is present. Refugees will be able to send direct messages to each other, and the app will provide capabilities for emergency broadcasting and critical message delivery between NGOs, aid workers, and the refugees. This app aims to help make communicating with loved ones affordable and accessible to all within the camps.
“Refugees deem connectivity to be critical in their daily lives, and they are willing to make large sacrifices to get and stay connected, sometimes prioritizing it over essentials like food, healthcare, education, and clothing,” said Rakibul Islam, CEO of W3 Engineers. “With a Mesh enabled blockchain based messaging application, refugees will no longer have to make the choice between connecting with loved ones and feeding their families. We applaud the UNICEF Innovation Fund for their willingness to support emerging technologies that have the power to transform the world.”
The project will be funded by an equity-free investment from the UNICEF Innovation Fund to build and operate the open source mesh messaging application.
By becoming a UNICEF Innovation Fund portfolio company, W3 Engineers will also have access to geographically-localized advice, opportunities for partnerships to reach more users, and the ability to collaborate with the UNICEF Ventures blockchain and computer science teams on future capabilities.
To follow the development of this 12-month project, made possible with the support of the UNICEF Innovation Fund, please visit: http://www.unicefinnovationfund.org
ABOUT W3 Engineers Ltd.
W3 Engineers Ltd. is a technology innovations lab constructed to build blockchain, mesh, cloud, mobile, IoT and big data applications. Servicing internal and external clients. W3 Engineers creates solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges—the biggest of which is connectivity. They are the first to develop apps powered by RightMesh mobile mesh networking technology which enables connectivity even when no Internet or cellular service is available. Learn more at: www.w3engineers.com
The Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that has the potential to impact children on a global scale. The core motivation of the IF is to fund “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology, like UAVs, Blockchain, Data Science and AI or virtual reality – so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children.For more information about UNICEF’s work in innovation, visit: www.unicefinnovationfund.org
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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
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Chairman and CEO, W3 Engineers Ltd.
UNICEF Office of Innovation