Born on the initiative of the non profit organization Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (Libraries Without Borders), the “Ideasbox” responds to the needs of refugees and vulnerable peoples all over the world of accessing education, information and training.
It is estimated that a refugee spends on average 17 years in a camp. Away from their home, away from their culture and families, without the possibility to access information and with nothing to do but waiting and hoping their country of origin returns to peace. This is what life is like for over 50 million refugees and displaced people fleeing from conflicts or natural disasters.
Through its humanitarian projects INTERSOS guarantees to these people their primary needs, such as water, food, shelter and medical assistance and much more: through the “education in emergency” projects INTERSOS lets thousands of children keep on developing their own abilities, continue their own growth path to build their own future.
The reconstruction is possible thanks to projects like the Ideas Box. The originality lies in its mobile and versatile high-tech components: this apparently simple box reveals a standard multi-media toolkit, easy to transport and with its own power source. Its equipment is adapted to the different needs, cultures and languages of the communities.
The challenge is to ensure access to information, cultural resources and education especially for children, but also adults, whom do not have these kinds of resources. and offering targeted activities.
The ease of use and the great possibilities the box offers, make it useful in different contexts, from South Sudan to Lebanon.
Implementing projects in dynamic environments requires flexibility, and the ability to quickly adapt activities to changing contexts: it takes 20 minutes and four people to set up the box in a 1000 ft space. The integrated furniture includes tables and shelves to use computers, read books and watch movies. It also has storage space for cables, tarpaulins, carpets and a battery system, which allows simultaneous charging of all equipment. Building materials are defined according to criteria of weight, content security, climate resilience and transport.
Thanks to a simple box, INTERSOS manages to create an educational, recreational and creative place, a peaceful corner in the middle of chaos. Such activities are called “informal education”: they don’t replace school, they integrate activities we already propose in community centers with courses from literacy to IT training.
The main purpose is to encourage children and adults to overcome trauma and develop their own resilience.
The results achieved so far in our community centers in Lebanon exceed expectations: many young people and children participated actively and with curiosity in the activities, such as theatreand cinema,, roleplaying, writing, photography and computer science courses, strengthened and enriched by the Ideas Box.
With a simple box we helped many people find their dreams.