Imagine an Amnesty 'safe zone' in the form of a Vending Machine / Info Hub where a human rights affected community can access basic tools and knowledge to help them stay informed with unfolding events, and also inspiring them to document their own surroundings with basic low-tech tools.
Some technologies are not scalable, and unfortunately not all human rights affected individuals/communities have access to smart phones where they can install a self-help app, or Tweet what is going on in their surroundings. With a simple yet empowering low-tech technology like the Amnesty Vending Machine / Info Hub, if successful in one community, can be applied to address various other problems in thousands of locations.
What would it include?
This Vending Machine, would have at the top of it a computer screen showing real time info/news on their local problem coming in from Amnesty International servers located in a safe place. So locals could also meet-up around this Vending Machine from time to time to stay updated an watch unfolding events that they cannot access elsewhere as they don't have computers or TV's at home.
Things that could be dispensed at the Amnesty Vending Machine are:
- SIM cards to use in old mobile phones:
- Voice recorders;
- A-Z guide of human rights.
There could be a possibility of then retrieving back into the Amnesty Vending Machine /Info Hub (via USB or Bluetooth, etc), all the documented material from the locals, anonymously. Amnesty would pass this info on to relevant sources, for the advantage of the community, since they don't have access to computers and a way to upload the videos online or to Media entities. As Connie suggested, there could be a possibility of releasing a
purposefully low-quality Vending Machine / Info Hub, built to be erected quickly and last only a day or two for drop-off in unprotected zones. It could be like a pop-up Hub, resembling a guerilla toolkit for the areas difficult to access.
With this concept I hope to focus on the
Low Tech scalability of helping people working to uphold human rights. In doing so, we'd give them simple easy tools such as; torches; pens; do your own-posters for a rally; easy portable cam-corders, and so on.
The ambition of this Amnesty Hub is for the less fortunate people affected by a human rights issue to feel inspired and enticed buy the tools we give them, and feel they can also make a difference with their own hands.
This vending machine could be placed in community safe zones such as next to Refugee Camps surveilled by United Nations or Red Cross workers; or in police protected zones, so that the risk of vandalism is not too high.
( * ) I am unsure about the best way to 'pay' for the items in the vending machine. Seeing as the community members might be quite poor, maybe the Vending Machine would accept a donation in the lowest local currency, like 0.01€. Or, the items would be free of charge,+ the way to dispense them would be to enter your info or a finger print. (Free IF: Providing we have the necessary funds to equip and build the Amnesty Vending Machine prior to it's installment in affected communities.)