+
True
Facebook

Germany is a champion in welcoming refugees inside its borders.

A recent global survey even confirmed the people of Germany as having some of the most welcoming attitudes toward refugees in the entire world.

Awesome work, Germany!


This one's for you!

Once refugees make it to Germany (or any country) and apply for asylum, their next crucial hurdle arises: getting a job.

Keep in mind, these are people who have left their entire lives back home, undergone an arduous and dangerous journey, and arrived in a foreign country to create a brand new life. So, where do they even start?

Enter Anne Riechert, digital strategist and founder of Berlin's Peace Innovation Lab.

When the shirt says it all. Image via TEDx Talks/YouTube.

Riechert wondered whether her tech experience could help newly arrived refugees, so she visited their homes to better understand the problem. That's when she met Muhammed, a talented IT student from Baghdad who wanted to develop his skills, but had no access to a laptop.

This inspired the idea for Refugees on Rails, a grassroots movement designed to teach refugees the programming language Ruby on Rails. But again, the whole no-laptop thing was still an issue.

Unfazed, Riechert took to social media and got to work.

This may be how things started. GIF from "You've Got Mail."

With a little Facebook magic, Riechert was able to secure 100 laptops from her friends. And the numbers don't stop there. She also recruited 15 teachers, 30 volunteers, and 30 possible partners. She even found two UX designers to help create their website.

Clearly, they were off to a booming start. The program had 50 students in Berlin, and they were expanding into other cities.

That's when the movement split into two: Refugees on Rails and the ReDI School of Digital Integration.

Anne and her ReDI co-founder, Ferdi van Heerden, found that nothing beat actually working with the students in person. It also allowed them to train an important job-hunting skill: networking.

Students and teachers hitting the ground running. Image via TEDx Talks/YouTube.

Since starting in February 2016, the school has provided its growing student body with the resources they need in order to be successful: computers, access to co-working spaces, mentors from the local startup scene, courses in business intelligence and digital entrepreneurship, and most importantly, a connection to potential internships and jobs.

No doubt this program will help solve the shortage of IT professionals in Germany. Couple that with the plan of local lawmakers to pass the first-ever bill integrating refugees into the country's economy, and you have a recipe for success.

But more than just helping with their professional lives, ReDI is giving refugees a chance to find creative solutions to everyday problems.

One of the students, Rami Rahawi, even came up with an ingenious idea to help fellow refugees learn to speak German: an educational karaoke app.

This could be how we learn other languages. GIF via "Top Gun."

That kind of idea has the potential to help anyone, anywhere. Imagine what ReDI's students will think up next!

Opportunities like this have the potential to benefit not only refugees but also society as a whole.

When we come together and welcome all members of the human race with open arms, we're rewarded with valuable insights and ideas that can help the entire world.

What an inspiring bunch! Image via TEDx Talks/YouTube.

True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Artist captures how strangers react to her body in public and it's fascinating

Haley Morris-Cafiero's photos might make you rethink how you look at people.

Credit: Haley Morris-Cafiero

Artist Haley Morris-Cafiero describes herself on her website as "part performer, part artist, part provocateur, part spectator." Her recent project, titled "Wait Watchers" has elements of all her self-descriptors.

In an email to us, Morris-Cafiero explained that she set up a camera in the street and stood in front of it, doing mundane activities like looking at a map or eating gelato. While she's standing there she sets off her camera, taking hundreds of photos.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

9 political cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are still relevant today.

If the world of Dr. Seuss can teach us anything, it's that history is our best defense against modern tyranny.

Image dated November 25, 1969, via SIO Photographic Laboratory Collection: Selections, UC San Diego Library

This photo was taken of Theodor Seuss Geisel at the UC San Diego Library.

This story originally appeared on 03.02.17


Did you know that in addition to being a beloved author of children's books, Dr. Seuss wrote more than 400 political cartoons during World War II?

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, gifted the world with stories like "The Cat in the Hat," "The Lorax," "Green Eggs and Ham," and dozens of other childhood classics until his death in 1991.

In recent years, however, it's some of his lesser known works from the 1940s that have gained attention.
Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Woman reunites with her family 51 years after being kidnapped

Melissa Highsmith never even knew her real family was searching for her.

The family celebrate their reunion following a decades long search

In 1971, Melissa Highsmith was kidnapped from her home in Fort Worth, Texas. Her disappearance has been one of the oldest missing person cases in America. Now, she gets to celebrate a long-awaited reunion with her family in what she calls a “Christmas miracle.”

As ABC affiliate WFAA reported, Melissa’s mother, Alta (who now goes by Alta Apantenco) had put out an ad for a babysitter to watch over her then 21-month-old while she was at work. A white gloved, well-dressed woman going by the name of Ruth Johnson responded to the call, but she was no babysitter. After Johnson picked up baby Melissa from Apantenco’s roommate, the two were never seen again.

As any parents would do in this situation, the Highsmiths worked tirelessly to find their little girl, involving the Fort Worth police and even the FBI. Sadly, it was all to no avail. The only glimmer of hope remaining was that there was no evidence of harm, so maybe, just maybe, their Melissa was being well taken care of. And for 51 years, the family held onto that possibility.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

5 ways to support your trans friends when they come out.

If someone trusts you with news that they're trans, there are a few key do's and don'ts you should follow.

Some tools to help us stand beside people we love and support.

This article originally appeared on 03.09.16. It has been lightly edited.


For many gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people, one of the most personal (and sometimes scary) experiences they'll go through is the "coming out" process.

Coming out means telling others of your status as an LGBTQ person. As society is becoming more accepting of people's sexual orientation and gender identity, coming out is getting easier all the time. Even so, for many, it's still a carefully calculated process that involves planning who, how, and when to tell people in their lives.

Keep ReadingShow less