The ICOON Initiative // Our vision at a glance

ICOON for refugees is a free picture dictionary and android app. It is created in cooperation with aid organisations, like the German Red Cross. Both the book and the app are designed especially for the needs of refugees and help them make themselves understood quickly in every possible situation. Each euro donated allows us to print one book.

* Refugees come from many different parts of the world and have very different language skills.
* There are not enough interpreters at the borders, camps and shelters. Communication between refugees and helpers, but also among the refugees themselves, is extremely difficult, yet it is essential if the situation is to improve.
* In summer 2015, we have received an increasing number of enquiries from aid organisations, asking if they may use our ICOON book (which was originally designed for tourists in 2007) and distribute it to refugees for free. We were able to provide a number of free copies, but as a very small publisher couldn’t absorb the cost of printing for the large number of books that were urgently required.
* Many refugees have android phones they use to communicate with their families while on the move. An android app had to be done.

* ICOON for refugees is a non-profit picture dictionary and app designed especially for the needs of refugees.
* It contains concise symbols and photos as well as useful phrases in the most important languages. The book is divided into intuitive categories such as clothing, hygiene, health, food, and transportation that help refugees find the right description for their problem quickly so all they have to do is point at a picture to make themselves understood.
* Printing is simple, binding is basic; this allows us to maintain production costs of 1 euro per book.
* The free android app is an extremely useful tool on almost any smartphone.
* People need not only food and shelter but also a means to communicate with each other. And what better way is there to bridge communication barriers than with the oldest and most universal language in the world: pictures!

One of a Kind
* The pocketsize book is light, compact and extremely handy in any situation.
* Based on the book, an A4 flyer containing 300 of the most important symbols and maps is available here. The flyer is print-ready and can be distributed and copied for humanitarian purposes on the basis of a Creative Commons license cc by nd.

What is the project goal and who is the project for?
* Our vision is to empower the refugees that are on the move to find what they need and get a clearer picture of their situation by offering them a useful communication tool.
* Aid organisations and volunteers are doing an amazing job at the crisis centres. For them, ICOON for refugees is a compact tool that helps them communicate clearly and provide the right assistance.
* It is also useful for other community initiatives. Because wherever refugees and locals meet, ICOON for refugees can help people communicate.
* Every edition is distributed to the Red Cross, aid organizations and volunteers throughout Europe. You can support new editions with 20 euro here.
* Our book and the app appeal to the need to „understand“ each other, thus helping refugees build communication bridges to the people and culture of the host countries. So our non-profit project also paves the way to learning the language of the country in which the refugees find themselves.
* Our ultimate goal is to contribute to better integration of those on the move. And integration begins with language.

See our crowdfunding video here: