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

Equipe Ideas Box au camp de Musasa

Since arriving in early 2014 to the Musasa refugee camp in Burundi, the Ideas Box has turned around the lives of refugee populations residing in the camp. Ideas Box facilitators are at the center of this change by helping refugees learn how to handle the equipment available to them and to discover all the contents of the library. These facilitators have shared their experiences with the Ideas Box.

The Ideas Box has aroused great interest among the refugees living in the Musasa camp. Ideas Box facilitator Célestin Munyamahoro reflected on the massive support of refugees, saying, "[The Ideas Box] was warmly welcomed by the camp because many signed up immediately and come every day to participate in the organized activities put on by the Box." Computer facilitator William Mwenabatu Meni stated, "The Ideas Box has a large fan base because it appeals to a wide range of people."

This common interest is the reason for the creation of the Ideas Box. "The Ideas Box has offered new knowledge to people who have or have not attended school," claims Munyamahoro, "It's for men, women, adults, and children without any distinction".

The diversity of content in the Ideas Box allows children and adults to learn about computers and literature. "The computer module provides basic computer concepts," explains Meni, "the participants are taught how to navigate the tablets and e-readers. They also learn how to connect the tablets to the wireless internet to browse for information and watch videos. The library module contains books from various cultures that are written in different languages. We are able to read, discover, and learn new things." Meni continues, "The Ideas Box's diversified content encourages creativity, allowing creative and talented children to let their imaginations soar".

   

The facilitators' testimonies can measure the progress made by refugees in their access to information. Hygienic coordinator Espérance Mukobwajana describes what it was like before the Ideas Box and its effect on the camp. "Everyone living here used to just meander around the camp without doing anything important," laments Mukobwajana, "but now with the Ideas Box, they can go read and do things that are productive. There are many who haven't even touched a computer before that now have the opportunity to use it to learn. We were cut off from the rest of the world, but now we will be informed of what is going on, as well as learn about what happened in the history books that we find in the Box".

The facilitators have come a long way since the arrival of the Ideas Box. Meni, who used to not even know what a tablet was, is now the camp computer facilitator. "For me to become certified in ICDL (computer training), it was the first time I had ever touched and used a tablet and e-reader. They were tools that I had never used before. But thanks to this project, I now have the experience and mastery of how to use them." Mukobwajana had an experience from the project that touched her in a patriotic way. "I read a book on the life of Patrice Lumumba and it sparked something in me. Now I know the history of my country and I feel like a true patriot."

These facilitators take their jobs to heart. Mukobwajana sums this commitment up in one sentence, "[We must] educate others so they can come and enjoy the wealth we find in the Ideas Box".