Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of a three part series on Libraries Without Borders. 

Instead of trying to explain the impact of the Ideas Box, a project created by Libraries Without Borders, the United Nations Refugee Agency, and Philippe Starck, I thought the video put out by a community who received the Idea Box would do so much more:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qPbky8XiQc&w=640&h=390]

To destroy the cultural heritage of a people is to take away their voice, and without the recovery of that heritage, it essentially wipes that people off of the face of the planet. It has happened throughout history, and it still happens today. The Ideas Box provides refugees hope, because it not only allows them access to vital information after a disaster but also allows them to create new, positive experiences.

As LWB and the UNHCR describe the need for the Ideas Box, “[h]umanitarian crises cause urgent needs for food, shelter, healthcare, and clothing. At the same time, refugees are deprived of information, culture, education, and professional training, and they suffer from trauma, boredom, and loss of hope.”

The kit consists of four sections that fold out into a library component (orange), an IT component (green), management component (yellow), and a cinema component (blue).

Photo credit: Libraries Without Borders, The Ideas Box

Photo credit: Libraries Without Borders, The Ideas Box

The overall structure of the box is a heavy-duty, self-contained power source; it provides internet access, and is easy to transport and set up. It provides the opportunity for communities to not just survive disasters, but gives them hope, in the form of tools to build their own future.

You can learn more about the Ideas Box and Libraries Without Borders here. The first kit, and the video that resulted from its impact, is currently in the refugee camps in the African Great Lakes region (Burundi), and has been there since February, 2014.

What do you think of the Ideas Box? How can we better provide resources to communities who desire them? What other ways can we work to rescue cultural heritage after disasters?