Home-maker Ikea has teamed up with UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and formed an organization called BetterShelter.org to create actual homes for thousands of displaced people in areas of conflict across the globe.
The shelter is like a real home, and is a lot safer and sturdier than the previously used tents. The shelter was developed in the hopes of helping the 65 million people that are currently displaced worldwide; whether it be in Africa, the Middle East, Asia or India.
Ikea’s “Better Shelter” (check it out here) non-profit program works to provide safer and more dignified homes for refugees all over the world.
The shelter is like a small, one-room house and can be easily assembled in a few hours. In moderate climates, it can last up to 3 years! It has hard walls and a locking door, thus making it a safer shelter for the inhabitants. The house even features a solar panel that runs a lamp and can charge a cell phone.
In areas like Niger and the Sudan, refugees are even beginning to use the solar panels to make a little bit of money: charging locals and neighbors to charge their cell phones.
There are already 30,000 Ikea temporary shelters built and in use, and more are being built every day, especially in war-torn areas like the Sudan in Africa and in the Anbar province in Iraq. Here the Iraqi returnees can live close to their original homes while they reconstruct their community.
The shelters are safer, more sustainable and cost-effective, and they are already changing lives. Check out the video here, and probably cry a little bit. Learn about the Iraqi Better Shelter program here.
These kinds of projects are what change the world, one little bit at a time. They give back some of the hope and kindness that seems to have been lost in recent years. Their existence proves, once again, that you can be a hugely successful company (like Ikea), and still care about the lives and well-being of other humans.
Now, doesn’t this make you happier than hearing about the most recent temper-tantrum of virulent Cheeto-dust?
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