For the children at one refugee camp, the ZubaBox will be a game-changer.
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CARE & Windows 10

We hear a lot about the ways in which technology has changed lives, but it's easy to forget just how technologically privileged some parts of the world are while others are not.

While many of us can easily hop on our computers, phones, and tablets to devour everything from the latest celebrity news to innovative medical advances, there are children in many parts of the world without access to the internet to complete their homework; teachers with outdated materials who can't search for a new study to share with their students; medical professionals who are unable to read about breakthroughs in their field in a daily email digest.


Image by Computer Aid, used with permission.

While the internet is an integral part of our lives, it's a critical missing component for so many — something that could vastly improve their experiences if they could only access it.

That's where the ZubaBox comes in.

Image by Computer Aid, used with permission.

A ZubaBox provides rural areas with solar internet centers, offering those who need it most a technology many of us take for granted.

So, what does that mean?

Solar panels are placed onto a container that's converted into a tech hub for people who do not have 24/7 access to the internet.

Image by SixZeroMedia/Computer Aid, used with permission.

The implications are life-changing.

David Barker, former chief executive of Computer Aid — the organization powering this technology — spoke to BusinessGreen about the impact:

"This allows the doctor to contact specialists in the city hospital, school children to access educational material, and local people to expand their businesses, David Barker [explained]. 'Now even the local bank comes round via Macha and it plugs into the internet link, sets up its little booth, and gives you your cash,' Barker said. 'Suddenly you’ve got teachers who want to work there because they can get paid.'”

Image by SixZeroMedia/Computer Aid, used with permission.

And this is just the beginning.

There are currently 10 ZubaBoxes located in neighborhoods throughout Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Nigeria. And on May 26, 2016, South America received its first ZubaBox in Cazuca, Bogota. William Jimenez, regional coordinator at Tiempo de Juego, said this to Computer Aid:

"Since the Lab arrived, the younger generation has naturally been curious and excited but the emotion that this event has stirred in the elders has been really moving. The fact that someone has finally considered Cazucá a priority is not only important [because of the] technology and training provided, but also because of the optimism it inspires in the entire community."

The ZubaBoxes provide a necessary technology, but just as importantly, they provide hope and the promise of a path forward to communities that have long felt neglected.

Image by Computer Aid, used with permission.

Next stop? The Kakuma refugee camp.

Kakuma, located in Kenya, is one of the world's largest refugee camps.

Teachers at the Kakuma refugee camp are currently teaching 150 to 200 students at a time, with one textbook for every 10 students and no computers. Think about what a difference a ZubaBox will make for those kids. And think about what a difference it would make for those teachers.

Image by SixZeroMedia/Computer Aid, used with permission.

SAVIC, an organization run by Kakuma refugees, is working hard to raise awareness and funding for the ZubaBox. They aim to provide up to 1,800 young refugees an outlet through which they can expand their horizons, connect with the modern world, and share their stories.

If their efforts are rewarded, they'll be able to provide their community with access to what is quickly becoming a basic necessity, one that can show them options for how to begin to rebuild.

Watch this video to see how the ZubaBoxes are built.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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