Low-tech & Refugees aims to improve the resilience and autonomy of displaced persons while contributing to the sustainable development of the territory, through the dissemination of know-how and low-tech systems and through socio-professional integration via ecological trades.
The complexity of migration issues renders standard humanitarian interventions such providing blankets, food, shelter solutions, etc. insufficient. In addition to meeting their immediate physiological needs, displaced persons need to reclaim their individual and collective future. The strengthening of displaced persons low-tech skills has this double impact.
Low-technologies are simple technical solutions that meet essential needs (water, food production and preservation, energy, housing, transportation, etc.). They are accessible (economically and in terms of know-how) and environmentally friendly (local, renewable or recycled materials, low-energy, etc.). Low-tech is also an approach : doing better with less.
The history of the program
Since 2018, the ‘Low-tech for Refugees’ project, later becoming ‘Low-tech with Refugees’, has been working to promote the autonomy of displaced persons. Based on the experience of this program conducted in Lesbos, Greece (in the Moria and KaraTepe camps), the association EKO! replicates this initiative in the South-PACA region. France corresponds to a new stage in many migratory journeys of people seeking refuge or/and in exile, and therefore to new needs.The activities carried out in Marseille and Briançon are mainly aimed at the socio-professional integration of displaced people through the discovery of different trades. The ‘Low-tech with Refugees – Sud-PACA’ program offers both displaced people and local residents: training courses leading to certification; workshops to discover low-tech know-how; access to a place open to all (the Low-tech Makerspace) which we share with our partners; and ongoing support for individuels and collectives advocating a movement towards regional eco-conciousness and solidarity.
In Briançon, a high-mountain border region, we will propose a dozen workshops to discover low-tech to a public of displaced people and local residents: eco-construction, waste management, woodworking, bicycle repair, energy systems, agro-ecological market gardening, beekeeping, sanitation, wild gathering, etc.
In Marseille, we offer several types of workshops as well as organising training in permaculture design (CCP) which lasts 2 weeks, is certifying, and, moreover, which is free and multilingual.
In parallel to these workshops and training, in each region we will accompany the beneficiaries, individually and in small groups, in the development of their professional projects in the fields of handicrafts, peasantry and other future professions.
“Low-tech” are simple technical solutions that meet basic needs: housing, access to energy and water, food production and preservation, etc.
They must be economically accessible (cost of purchase, use, etc.), and appropriable (the ability to build and repair them yourself, ease of use, etc.).
In addition, these solutions are environmentally friendly: sober and sturdy, durable, repairable, with a low carbon footprint and consuming little energy during their life cycle.”
The 6 components of ‘Low-tech & Refugees’ actions are :
Workshops open to all to discover low-tech systems and know-how (woodworking, bicycle repair, beekeeping, eco-construction, solar cookers, rocket stove, composting, etc.)
Professional training (permaculture design, welding, etc.)
Socio-professional guidance (individual follow-ups, group sessions, etc.)
Low-tech Makerspaces : places to meet, repair, make, learn, discuss low-tech and sustainable jobs
Supporting all those engaged in furthering the solidarity and ecological transition of the region (such as structures set up to welcome migrants, farms, etc.)
The diffusion of low-tech systems via workshops, tutorials, etc.
Where and for who ?
Locations : PACA (Briancon, Marseille, etc. : French-Italian border; a place of anchorage)
Target groups : displaced people (all types of status), locals and residents, organisations supporting solidarity and regional ecological transitions
Tempted ? Try it ! Low-tech & Refugees shares its tutorials with you!
Do you want to experiment with low-tech yourself? The Low-tech & Réfugiés program provides you with tutorials via Low-tech Lab, the platform of our technical partner :