Project Daedalus Education and technology for refugee camps in Greece (and America)

libtech

From here:

The closure of borders along “The Balkan Road” caused major change of situation. Greece was coerced into a role of a giant “filtration camp” for people1 coming (mostly) via Turkey, hoping to reach stability and safety within European Union. Instead, they are being “processed”, dis-empowered, detained and stripped off their dignity. And this is the only job the European Union is effective at.

Immense effort of hundreds of volunteers, activists and supporters not only helped to keep migrating people alive, equipped and secure, where authorities neglected them at best, but also showed that there is a large group of Europeans who do not subscribe to the design of “Fortress Europe2“.

Now, when the massive transit through Greece subsided and people are staying in place for longer, there is great need for more permanent solutions, especially based on self-organised activity, involving new settlers themselves.

Project Daedalus is aimed at bringing back new settlers’ agency and self-esteem by enable them to cater to their own needsin three areas:

  • Building their own infrastructure for better living in the camps and other formal or informal settlements.
  • Accessing education resources over internet to learn new skills needed in new environment.
  • Developing micro-enterprises and self-employment in the area of technology3 products, under the umbrella of solidarity economy4.

In our work we do our best to develop and apply certain principles of conduct, especially in relationship with our partners, recipients of our support.

  • Our role is to provide opportunities, initial resources and support to those who are keen and able to organize themselves, rather than to serve ready-made, one-size-fits all solutions, invented far away from the real world. That is why will learn from our partners as much as we help them learn.
  • We work in the realm of open technology, social and solidarity economy and self-organization. All designs and other deliverables we publish are licensed as CC-BY-SA5. We hope that our contribution will be useful for people throughout the world.
  • We do not make this project political, but we do not ignore political context either. We keep perspective of the common good and liberatory technology6.
  • Keeping formal structure at the minimum level, we focus on practical work. At the same time we are happy to cooperate with everyone as long as it helps us going ahead, without compromising our principles.
  • We raise donations to make the project go, but one of the goals is to make it (and people involved) sustainable in financial aspect. It will include running certain commercial activities, based on the principles of social economy.
  • We promote sound engineering and manufacturing standards and strongly focus on using carbon neutral/negative technology wherever possible.
  • We are listening to everyone who wants to provide comments, input or suggestion. We do not guarantee, however, that we will follow them.

Intended deliverables

By the end of the project, the ideal outcome should be:

  1. No less than 2 (up to 5) technical groups active in various places, networked and sharing knowledge online. Their members will be teaching others, providing snowball effect.
  2. Mobile support team (1-3 people) cruising between locations, providing support as needed.
  3. Online presence will be established, under own domain name, both for the project and for the tech communities on the ground.
  4. For all constructions deployed, full documentation will be developed and made public.
  5. A legal framework will be created to support external economy operations.

Final and the most crucial outcome will be making external direct support for existing groups not needed anymore, leaving team Daedalus in a position of networking entity, spreading the activity beyond initial area.

Long-term vision

“Refugee crisis” is a misnomer. It is not a crisis. It is a long-term change. If we are able to achieve goals defined in the beginning, it will be just the start of the work. Technology as a vehicle of empowerment will be needed badly for all “less fortunate” people in Europe and beyond. They may need a way to support themselves, to participate in solidarity economy, to co-create new social forms.

New Europeans, starting from the camps in Greece, still have a long way to go. Integration with new culture7 always takes generations. Our project will hopefully be a small contribution towards this process, making it a bit quicker, a bit easier and a bit more flexible.

Your involvement

We are about to develop more structured list of positions to be filled, but generally there are three groups of people we are looking for:

  1. Donors, financial or in kind.
  2. Worldwide support group: all kinds of support that can be rendered remotely. Knowledge, contacts, word-spreading, logistics.
  3. Field team. Traveling throughout Greece, meeting people here and making the most visible part of the project.

If you are keen and able to take responsibility in one of these areas, please contact us viahttps://daedalus.libtech.website/contact/

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About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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