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

im 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 “illegally,” without receiving any stamps on his passport to proudly show to his friends.

Ali is from Pakistan. He is traveling with his uncle, aunt, brother, and sister. His father left Pakistan more than two years ago. During these two years his children haven’t seen him. It is for this reason that Ali is so impatient to get to Germany. The days at the Eleonas Refugee Camp are long and idle. Ali lives in a constant state of waiting to be able to continue his journey.

He misses his school and his life in Pakistan. After a month of waiting at the camp, Ali and his family were “selected” to be placed in a “hotel.” So, we must say good-bye to this bright young boy, who, displaying an unwavering willingness and enthusiasm, was always willing to participate in the activities organized in the Ideas Box.

We learned later that the place Ali and his family were sent was far from a hotel, but rather another refugee camp. “Not really a hotel, more like a summer camp. A bit far away, but it’s better than here,” a camp manager at Eleonas explained to us. In this new setting however, the problem is the same: Ali thinks only of reuniting with his father and cannot build a future for himself. Being out of school for several months, and without a house to stay in, Ali is losing precious time during a crucial period in his life.

my name is 2

Thanks to the Ideas Box deployed in Eleonas camp in Greece, Ali learned began learning French.

Two weeks later, a message from an unknown German number appeared on the screen of my cell phone. It was Ali. “I’m in Germany!” he exclaimed happily. It was then that I learned that Ali had been able to find his father in Germany, after two years of separation. After pushing the limits of human boundaries, Ali and his family are once again united.

“I’m in Germany!:” how many people, whose journeys are long and filled with obstacles, dream of exclaiming these same words? I think that I too, will shout “I’m in Germany!” during my next trip to Frankfort, thinking not only about Ali but of everyone who is stuck in transit, dreaming of reaching their country of choice.

This is the fourth article in an ongoing series of blog articles written by LWB staff in Greece that have appeared in the French newspaper Libération.