Portals for Refugees
Working with UNICEF Iraq, the United Nation's SDG Action Campaign, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, a network of global universities, and local partners from Jordan to Germany, Portals are emerging in IDP & refugee sites across Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
The Portals help displaced communities get their stories out, putting a face on numbers. They provide local revenue for Portal Curators and people within the displaced communities. And they offer educational opportunities, both for refugee & IDP communities, and other communities around the world.
Our current Portals in refugee & IDP sites exist in Berlin, Germany, Amman, Jordan, and Erbil, Iraq.
Portal Screen During the 2016 UN General Assembly
Raising Awareness & Support
Ban Ki-moon Inaugurates Summer 2016 Portal at the UN
From June 2016 through August 2016, a gold Portal at the United Nations Headquarters connected diplomats and visitors to IDP and refugee communities at UNICEF sites in Jordan and Iraq. During those three months, children in New York and at the camps engaged in dance-offs, dialogues, classes, and play. Diplomats and visitors were able to learn about the situation on the ground directly from refugees, IDPs, and UNICEF workers.
Children and a teacher in Erbil engage members of Congress at the U.S. Capital
We connected our Erbil Portal with the halls of the U.S. Congress. U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern and Mike Quigley spoke with Omar, a 15-year-old Iraqi who was forced from his home by ISIS advances, Malak, an 11-year-old who wants to be a doctor, and Tarfa, a Syrian teacher who has been working in Iraq for the past three years. Omar told them that he couldn't go to school because the site closest to him had been converted into a shelter for the thousands being displaced from Mosul. Our partners UNICEF & UNICEF Iraq are working daily to build schools but it is an uphill battle. Tarfa, the teacher, hasn’t been paid in months. After this Portal dialogue, members of congress and the U.S. public policy team at UNICEF pledged to investigate the issue, work to identify funds, and update their information on the previously unknown issues in this particular camp
Ambassador Samantha Power Talks to Sidra at UNICEF in Za'atari After Watching VR Films
Hosts, Supporters & Partners
"Amazing, fantastic, memorable experience chatting with Omar. His message - talk with refugees, not about them. Powerful. Congratulations to the USHUM for making this available. Estie"
"As the translator, this was an amazing and the most eye-opening conversation I’ve had in so long. As an Iraqi refugee in the US, it meant so much for me to be the connection between regular American citizens and Iraqi people. This is exactly what we need today to start the conversation and to help the American public understands a little more about Iraq and the Iraqi people. Love portal! Taif"
" I just witnessed my husband communicate with a refugee in Germany that moved me beyond comprehension. It changed the issues currently facing our world so much more real. This experience will stay with me forever, maybe for positive pleasure but also negative reasons from my own misconceptions. This changed me. I am so grateful for this deeply unique experience. Samantha Cooper"