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

Actor Ewan McGregor speaks to Myrna, a young girl living at the Harsham Camp for refugees and IDPs in Erbil, Iraq through a Shared_Studios Portal Screen at the UN General Assembly and a Portal Container at Harsham.
Full-body scenes from the Harsham and Debaga camp running on the Portal Screen before and after live interactions.

Full-body scenes from the Harsham and Debaga camp running on the Portal Screen before and after live interactions.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders speaking with Walid in Erbil.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders speaking with Walid in Erbil.

Paloma Escudero, UNICEF Director of Communications, listening to young musicians in Erbil.

Paloma Escudero, UNICEF Director of Communications, listening to young musicians in Erbil.

Children at UNICEF doing a movement class with Jonah Bokaer at UN Portal over summer 2016.

Children at UNICEF doing a movement class with Jonah Bokaer at UN Portal over summer 2016.

The Portal at the Harsham IDP Camp run by UNICEF Iraq.

The Portal at the Harsham IDP Camp run by UNICEF Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi speaking to a young man in Erbil, Iraq at the UNICEF Iraq Portal.

Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi speaking to a young man in Erbil, Iraq at the UNICEF Iraq Portal.

 

Raising Awareness & Support

Portals connect the European Parliament to Erbil live.

Portals connect the European Parliament to Erbil live.

Portals connect President Obama to an entrepreneur in Erbil, Ali Ismail. Learn more about this on UNICEF's blog.

Portals connect Erbil to the Women Moving Millions conference.

Portals connect Erbil to the Women Moving Millions conference.

 
 

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.

Then-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, introduces the first day of Portals at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. He then stepped into the portal.

 

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

 

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