Meet
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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News

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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

 

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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 multi-media toolkit immediately and wholeheartedly. His name was Walter.

 A a 37 year old Ugandan computer engineer, Walter was forced to flee his country and leave behind his wife and 8 year-old daughter in 2014 because of his political views. From Uganda to Greece, his journey has been more than a little chaotic. He spent several months in Turkey after being taken prisoner by the coast guard for several days. He remembers little of his voyage to Greece: he woke up in a hospital in Lesbos after succumbing to hypothermia. He was almost immediately sent to the camp in Eleonas, where he has been waiting to begin the asylum-seeking process since January 2016.

While deploying the Ideas Box at the Eleonas camp for the first time, Walter shared his passion for new technologies with us. First, he spent some time on the available computers in the Ideas Box. This was a way for him to reconnect with his country and his family, since he lost all of his belongings, including his computer, while traveling to Greece.

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Refugees using computers in the Ideas Box in Eleonas, Greece. Photo Romain B. / Bibliothèques Sans Frontières

Motivated and filled with ideas, Walter quickly became interested in becoming involved more directly in the activities offered by the Ideas Box and wanted to share his knowledge of information technology with others living in the Eleonas camp. He was thus able to get back in touch with his vocation and instill a sense of activity and creativity into the everyday routine of the camp; a routine that is all too often marked by endless waiting and boredom. Comfortable with the tools made available by the Ideas box, and always ready to share his knowledge, Walter has helped immensely in keeping the activities running smoothly.

Walter has also been able to break down the barriers to communication that normally hamper migrants and to help establish ties between individuals from all over the world, from Syria to Afghanistan. By using technology to facilitate exchanges between people who share in his condition but not necessarily his origins, Walter has expanded his own horizons as well.