Get to know CHAMA, the UNHCR chatbot

The UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) launched on June 10, 2021, the automatic response WhatsApp “Chama”. The expression “Chama”, in Venezuelan culture, means “young woman”, which is the identity of this artificial intelligence tool created to answer the main doubts of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Brazilian territory, reducing the impacts of fake news that circulate between this population.

The automatic whatsapp Chama (+551142301029) uses a technology known as chatbot, and has a script that answers the main questions of the Venezuelan communities served by the shelters of Operação Acolhida. Its topics, such as documentation, internalization, prevention of COVID-19 and tips for finding work, were identified as priorities through a survey carried out in November 2020 with the tool’s target audience.

The responses generated by the chatbot are sent through texts with audio and video links. The initial content was developed with the support of the community radio “La Voz de los Refugiados”, a project implemented by UNHCR and AVSI Brasil (Volunteers for International Service) in three shelters of Operação Acolhida in Boa Vista (Roraima) to provide safe information and answer questions from the population sheltered in these places.

In addition to providing scripted information, the “Chama” chatbot has a direct question and information verification channel to prevent fake news managed by the UNHCR office in Boa Vista. All the content presented in the tool’s responses is available on the HELP platform, aimed at the refugee population.

To use FLAME, save the number +551142301029 on your cell phone. Afterwards, open your whatsapp and write your message to CHAMA. It’s simple and easy! It has a series of information relevant to the Venezuelan population.