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Ideas Box helps refugees connect with information

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Libraries Without Borders has launched a new project to help with the intellectual needs of refugee communities.

The so-called Ideas Box is described as a portable cultural centre that contains printed books and e-books, video and films, computers and tablets, and satellite access to the internet. According to Patrick Weil, chairman of Libraries Without Borders, 'each of these items can be customised in the language, culture, and for the special needs of the children and adults for whom the Ideas Box will be delivered. '  

Created by designer Philippe Starck and developed in cooperation with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the aim of the Ideas Box is 'for every refugee to find, as soon as possible, a way to reconnect with the world and to create her or his own future.'  

The first two boxes have recently been deployed, in cooperation with the UNHCR and IRC, in Burundi for Congolese refugees. The next steps are to deliver Ideas Box kits to Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities in Lebanon and Jordan. 'The needs are tremendous in so many places all over the world: the Ideas Box is vital not only in humanitarian contexts but also within disadvantaged areas of developing and developed countries,' says Weil in an appeal for support. The project's 'Support us' page gives details of how to provide financial or material support to the project.