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empowering the refugee community

The Royal College of Art partnered with The White Eagle Appeal and design agency Hellon to expand services to the Ukrainian refugee community and to help define a system that could be scaled. The White Eagle Club in Balham, South London, is a Polish community center that became a UK volunteer and donation hub in the days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022. The brief explored how the White Eagle could formalize and expand their services to the refugee audience and to help define a system that could be scaled to other agencies. To support this endeavour, leading design agency Hellon provided expertise and insights to our team of student designers.

7,900,000 people have fled Ukraine and registered themselves in EUROPE

As of January 3rd, 2023 (UNHCR)

problem statement

Refugees face a myriad of barriers to accessing trusted information, which leads to vulnerability and reliance on their first point of contact.


We interviewed more than 20 different organizations from charities, UN agencies, local authorities, volunteers, and refugee networks and conducted seven in-depth interviews with Ukrainian refugees. We ran multiple ideation and co-creation exercises with refugee and volunteer stakeholders during our weekly meetings at the White Eagle, charting possible solutions. In the process, we heard enlightening personal stories that ultimately led us to define 3 key insights and inform our final proposal.


Our mission is to create a refugee-led service platform that enables community members to share lived experiences, easing the challenges of resettlement. Using a myriad of service design tools including co-creative workshops, journey mapping, blueprinting and prototyping we developed our final service concept entitled Context.

Your digital friend, helping you navigate new journeys with context


Context is a browser extension which supports refugees by overlaying crowdsourced cultural interpretations of information onto existing websites. Allowing a community of individuals and organisations to provide insights and tips based on their lived experiences.  

It’s like if Grammarly offered culturally interpreted advice instead of spelling & grammar checks. 


Our team created a concept mock-up of how we envision the platform to work, using the UK national healthcare website as an example. Using Context, refugees will be able to easily find explanations from an actual human to understand the differences between how things work in their home country compared to in the UK. They can ask questions, flag information, and even become a contributor themselves.

iPhones with a View
Context UX Mockup_edited_edited.jpg

Context is currently being taken forward into early development in cooperation with a group of professional volunteers and support from design agency Hellon. We hope this student project evolves into something that can have a real impact!

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