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.

Continue reading

3D Printing Helps African Manufacturing

Imagine a doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo who can create a prosthetic leg using materials found in his backyard. Or perhaps an engineering student who starts a new craze in acoustic instruments from the comfort of her room in South Africa (Vuvuzelas, anyone?). Custom designs, waste management solutions, home décor, next-generation devices— could all be designed, printed and sold by Africans to Africans and markets beyond using 3D printers.

Continue reading

Staying Safe From Floods Through Gamification

In many parts of the world, flooding and natural disasters can be a seasonal threat to people’s lives. While these may be a recurrent theme in some regions, education on preventive and awareness are not always as readily adopted as humanitarian agencies would like. UNESCO-Bangkok has teamed up with software developer Opendream to address this very problem through a unique approach.

Continue reading

Daily Special at Vietnam’s Koto Restaurants: Hope for Street Kids

  Tucked behind Hanoi’s ancient Temple of Literature, a top draw for tourists, KOTO Restaurant offers respite for sore feet and grumbling tummies. The menu of Asian-meets-Euro dishes includes nem (spring rolls), beef baked in bamboo, delicious salads, sandwiches and baked goods. It’s welcome fare for visitors and is spiked with a secret ingredient: Hope. KOTO is a wildly successful training …

Continue reading

Seven Apps and Websites Changing The Landscape for Youth Mental Health

Mental health continues to be an overlooked and underfunded issue, despite suicide being the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year-olds globally. Over the last three years the team at Innovation Labs in the UK has worked to develop digital tools to improve young people’s mental health and well-being. The result? Seven well researched, expertly tailored apps and websites that offer a broad range of information and support for youth and those who care about them.

Continue reading

Firdaus Kharas: The Animated Activist

Acclaimed producer, director and humanitarian Firdaus Kharas uses light-hearted, accessible and multi-lingual cartoon animations as health promotion tools, particularly in the Middle East. His work cover issues including HIV/AIDs prevention, contraception, malaria prevention, domestic violence and energy conservation. Similar innovators utilize media platforms for health promotion, including Mohammed Harib and Malik Nejer. With cross-cultural appeal and accessible messages, cartoons are becoming a valuable method of teaching critical lessons.

Continue reading

Disadvantaged Youth Hone Hospitality Skills at Hanoi’s Hoa Sua

Tucked into a tiny side street in the Truc Bach neighbourhood of Hanoi is a stately house that has been transformed into elegant restaurant. White linen covers the tables and menu choices are a fusion of French and Asian. Is this a high-end celebrity chef’s signature locale? Not exactly. It is Song Thu Restaurant, a learning restaurant run by Hoa Sua where disadvantaged youth whip up delicious meals and serve them to customers, often tour groups visiting Vietnam.

Continue reading