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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Teaching Refugee Children How to Code

A study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 1.4 million new technology jobs by 2020, and many of those jobs will go unfilled. In her home of Des Moines, Iowa, Nancy Mwirotsi noticed the needs of local African refugee families were enormous. Knowing the need for STEM training to fill future jobs, and the need to support struggling local refugee children, she decided there must be a way to do both.

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Seeking Refuge: One Organization is Transforming Emergency Shelter

“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

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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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Tablet-Based Learning for Somali Refugees

Education is the fundamental right of every child and key to combating cyclical poverty. But, in most emergency relief environments, limited financial resources and shortages of qualified teachers make the provision of quality education incredibly difficult. This challenge is especially acute in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp located 100 kilometres from the Somali border in eastern Kenya. Here, over half of the population is under the age of 18 and school enrollment rates remain alarmingly low.

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Refutrees: Putting the roots in grassroots

Refugee communities, those facing both long and short-term displacement, are often reliant on donor resources for survival. Palestinian refugees, who number in the millions, have been displaced for decades. Multiple generations live in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank, Syria and the Gaza Strip, environments that often provide limited opportunities for resource and economic sovereignty. To address this, …

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