the Ideas Box

Discover a portable media center, unique in its kind, and learn about how you can support the program or acquire your own Ideas Box!

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Humanitarian situations

A unique device, the Ideas Box enables access to information, education and culture for populations emerging from humanitarian crisis situations. 

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Vulnerable Populations

The Ideas Box is a great tool for vulnerable populations with little or no access to culture everywhere, including in developed countries.

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Education & creativity

A powerful tool for reinforcing education and stimulating creativity among students in and out of school, the Ideas Box has been selected by the WISE accelerator.

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Twenty Ideas Box for peace in Colombia

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and French President François Hollande launch the "mobile libraries for peace." Crédit : Efraín Herrera – SIG Librarie...

Why we decided to keep working in Moria camp in Lesbos despite recent controversy

After the March 20th agreement between the European Union and Turkey, the majority of the large humanitarian organizations withdrew from the Moria Camp in Les...

Walter: Refugee, Computer Engineer…and Ideas Box Facilitator!

  Last March, when we arrived at the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens with the Ideas Box, one man got involved in the maintenance and use of the portable ...

The Ideas Box is a WISE Awards finalist for 2016!

On May 4th, the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) announced this year's finalists for the WISE Awards. Fifteen innovating projects offering concret...

« I’m in Germany ! »

Ali is 12 years old. He has already crossed ten countries and had more difficulties than any European traveler would have to face. He crossed these countries ...

A ferry on the way to Lesbos

What is a crisis? Is it when daily life is marked by abnormal situations in which absurdity and violence take place and change our lives? A crisis and its man...

In Eleonas, the adults are the ones seizing coloured pencils and felt pens

Since Macedonia closed its borders with Greece last Sunday, and following the intensification of European border control policies, hundreds of refugees have f...

Every blog starts with a first post, a first page to write...

Early in 2016, Libraries Without Borders started the Ideas Box, a large-scale program in Europe, along the route of refugees. In this context, we invite you t...

The Ideas Box now in Detroit!

On Monday, November 30th, Libraries Without Borders and officials of the Detroit Mayor's Office and the Detroit Public Library network officially launched a p...

The Ideas Box launched in Taverny and Argenteuil!

For its third experimental programming phase in Ile-de-France, from November to December the Ideas Box will be installed at the Welcome and Orientation Center...

Michelle Obama visits the Ideas Box!

One year after its official selection at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the Ideas Box along with Libraries Without Borders was in...

The Ideas Box at the Centre Pompidou in Paris!

Tuesday November 3rd, 2015, Libraries Without Borders participated in the launch of Social Good Week, a French organization intended to find ways to use the I...

Funding and community workshop at the Ideas Box in Burundi

This week, from October 26th to October 30th, a funding and community building workshop was held at the Ideas Box in Burundi. This scaling up working brought ...

Damas, Tanzanian refugee and Ideas Box facilitator

Damas NTAKIRUTIMANA is a 28 year old Tanzanian refugee who lives in the Musenyi integrated rural village in Burundi. After obtaining his humanities diploma...

Calais: First French City to have an Ideas Box!

On Friday October 9th, Patrick Kanner, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, and Patrick Weil, President of Libra...

Libraries Without Borders in France has been selected as one of the winners of the Google Impact Challenge!

  Yesterday, Libraries Without Borders in France won the Google Impact Challenge after a night full of surprises at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ...

The Ideas Box and LWB invited to the European Parliament

From September 28th to 30th, 2015, Libraries Without Borders was invited by deputy Sylvie Guillaume, Vice President of the European Parliament, to the seat of...

The Ideas Box mobilises designers!

The Ideas Box mobilises designers! On Wednesday, September 16th, 23 design and industry professionals got together for the Scale Up workshop for Rationalis...

The Ideas Box around the world

What is a crisis? Is it when daily life is marked by abnormal situations in which absurdity and violence take place and change our lives? A crisis and its management can create instability in  our relationship with humanity. Today, this is what we are experiencing, as both witnesses of a crisis situation and  actors of change.

Sunday, we meet in the port of Athens to wait for the ferry that will take us to the island of Lesbos. We meet Sehrat in the port waiting room which has become an improvised shelter for more than 400 women, men, and children. Sehrat, his wife and three children have been blocked there for three days, prevented from reaching Athens.

Sehrat comes from Iraqi Kurdistan. He fled from the war, the bombings and other human rights atrocities. Today, for geopolitical reasons which exceed the bounds of imagination, Sehrat has prepared himself to spend his fourth night in the hall. Like many people here, Sehrat's face shows a resigned exhaustion and a complete misunderstanding of the situation. Waiting for the next step of a journey that began more than a month ago, they do not know whether a “transit or waiting camp" awaits them. Sehrat and his family have been blocked for several days in Lesbos, waiting for the permission to join continental Europe. Their journey will stop here for now, in Piraeus.

A new ferry arrives from Lesbos with over a thousand refugee families on board. Many of them are oriented towards buses in direction to transit and waiting camps in Athens and the surroundings, whereas others join Sehrat and his family in the already crowded waiting rooms. Old people, children and parents will attempt to recover from a grueling ferry trip in the noise and in the promiscuity inherent in these reception facilities.

That is why we are going to Lesbos. It is early in the morning, and as we approach the island we can see the Greek Coast Guard and Frontex (European border guards) ships conducting rescue missions in the waters between Turkey and Greece.

That morning, we helplessly witness the consequences of closing the European borders. We are passengers on the ferry sailing a few hundred meters from people trying to cross the Aegean in inflatable boats. Watching is all that we can do as some of the boats call the coast guards for help or try to reach the Greek beaches by themselves, where remains of the shipwrecks pile up.

Our arrival in Moria camp only reinforces our concern and incomprehension vis-à-vis this situation. The very first place where refugees are welcomed in Europe is a former prison that has lost neither its barbed wire fences nor its old operating methods. That is the reason we took the ferry today. With the Ideas Box, deployed by Libraries Without Borders, we are hoping, if only for an instat, to allow everyone to escape the hard reality of brick walls and barbed wire fences of Moria.