Clowning Around in Refugee Camps

While many organizations focus on immediate needs during a crisis — food, water and shelter — one group aims to share joy, laughter and fun with affected populations of all ages. Clowns Without Borders, an American based organization, has been visiting refugee camps and conflict zones since 1995 to put on performances and ensure that people, especially children, are able to find happiness even in incredibly difficult situations.

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Shelter Design Helps Refugees Weave Lives Back Together

More than 40 million people around the world have been displaced by conflict and other emergencies. Many of them end up sleeping under tarps and tents in terrible living conditions, far from the homes they once knew. Now, an architect named Abeer Seikaly has come up with a new shelter design.

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Shedding Light on Life in the Dark

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.”[2] 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.”

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Sustainable Schools for Refugees

In refugee camps across Jordan — which house just over half a million refugees — permanent schools are being built to help ensure children are able to succeed. The majority of refugees live in small, poorly built tents, but architects have partnered with nonprofits to design and implement new, innovative buildings that will not only last, but help improve livelihoods.

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Are Refugee Camps Hotbeds of Innovation?

Syrians flooding into the Za’atari refugee camp have made it Jordan’s fourth largest city, with over 83,000 displaced residents. They are victims of the worst humanitarian disaster of our time and face an uncertain future as the civil war continues to drive more people from their homeland. While resources in the camp are often scarce, a new project from the Fab Foundation helps residents share experiences, learn new skills, and connect with a global network to tackle daily challenges.

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The Resilient Refugee and the Power of Art

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.

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When Hell Freezes Over: Challenges for Cold Climate Response

  This article originally appeared on the Humanitarian Coalition’s Relief to Recovery blog here.   Storm Zeina swept through the Middle East in January and left over 400,000 Syrian refugees out in the cold in Lebanon. There, 1 in 5 residents are Syrian refugees living in formal and informal settlements, unfinished shelters are collapsing under the weight of snow and …

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Refugees as a Burden: Dispelling the Common Myth

Over 10 million people have been refugees for more than five years, and the average length of exile is almost 20 years. This means that refugees are not being reintegrated but are becoming trapped in a cycle that does not allow them to return to their native countries or make a home in a new one. A new study from Oxford University and the Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP) has analyzed existing approaches for assisting refugees. They came up with recommendations for a new way of thinking about refugees and their needs.

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A Safe, Global, Missing Persons Network

REFUNITE is a technology-based non-profit working internationally to reconnect refugees and forcibly displaced people with their missing loved ones. Developed by David and Christopher Mikkelsen in partnership with Ericsson, a provider of telecommunications equipment and services, the platform is accessible through the web, a toll-free number, or through texting or USSD on even the most basic cell phones.

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