In 2015, the United Nations celebrates the Year of Light, an “observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science…and its importance to humankind.” Yet, as Pia Vogler writes, “Night time [in and of itself] is scarcely discussed when it comes to the analysis of life in a refugee camp.”
We are inundated with headlines, videos, photos and stories detailing the current refugee crisis. While a daunting and seemingly insurmountable issue for global leaders, people around the world have taken the politics out of the situation and work to provide solutions of their own. Here we showcase current initiatives in three European countries.
Over 800 million people worldwide don’t have access to clean water, and that number is projected to reach at least 1.8 billion over the next decade. This problem struck a chord with Austrian well-maker turned entrepreneur Dietmar Stuck. His patented solar water pump technology aims to address this problem.
Potato Park, located in the Cusco region of Peru, is one of the world’s few biological reserves operated by local indigenous populations. It proves that, with the aid of science, mixing old knowledge with new technology can be a successful recipe for protecting crops against climate change.
“It all boils down to cost. There are raised flooring systems readily available, but nothing is affordable enough for mass implementation. We worked backwards from affordability…and focus exclusively on the provision of clean, dry flooring…for less than $2 per square foot.” – Scott & Sam, Good Works Studio
Indian start-up Science for Society has developed a solar conduction dryer that aims to reduce costs associated with food-processing. While conventional dryers rely on electricity to dehydrate various crops and marine products, this innovation operates sans electricity, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing costs for farmers. The innovation is aimed at increasing incomes for small-hold farmers in India and, ultimately, across the global South.
It’s Thursday evening. You hear rumbling overhead. Dust in your mouth. A rotted out building with shredded material barely conceals the rhythmic thumping inside. Peek past the tattered window shade and you see a trampoline, dirty mattresses lining the floor below a trapeze, juggling paraphernalia and a lone unicycle. Welcome to the Al Jalazon Refugee Camp.
In the three weeks since Nepal’s Kathmandu valley region was rocked by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, UNOCHA – who does what where and when have been tasked with search and rescue, and the provision food, health and shelter for thousands of people. The quake affected 3 districts, 5 municipalities, over 130 wards. Many of these communities are situated in remote and inaccessible regions have been the last to receive aid. In a local effort to bring relief to these communities more quickly, a local organization, backed by a US organization is utilizing open map technology to make visible remote communities, open spaces for logistical operations to set up, and to highlight any and all areas that might hinder or help the relief effort.