Edi students start project to bring solar phone chargers to refugees stranded in Greece

But they need more money to expand the project


A team of five Edinburgh students have developed a way to bring free solar powered electricity to refugee camps in Greece to help them charge mobile devices.

Samuel Kellerhal, Alexandros Angelopoulos, Adi Bashya, Josef Linnhof, and Sybilla Kitsios have been working very closely with the chaplaincy to make this project happen.

Although their idea already has financial support from the University, they’re still looking to crowd fund their way to building more solar-units and expand the project to more refugees.

The University now backs what the team call Project Elpis and they are now starting conversations with the UNHCR and Mercy Corps who will hopefully also support them along the way.

Samuel said: “The idea came when Alexandros was working on the island of Samos in the summer of 2015 when the first arrivals came from Turkey. Refugees asked to charge their phones and explained the significance it has on their journey. I inherently wanted to do something with a positive impact. Alexandros and I then came up with the idea of providing refugees in Greece with a free and environmentally sustainable way of charging their phones.”

Although they’ve been given initial funding to travel to Greece this summer, they still need more money to make the impact they think they can make.

According to Samuel: “We have gathered enough money from the university to enable our team to travel to Greece and set up our first two solar-charging units.

“However in order to truly make an impact and gain the attention of media and larger-scale investors that would enable this project to develop much further and have an impact across all camps in Greece and beyond, we need to produce 4 more units to cover all key locations, which are the islands of Samos, Lesbos, Kos and Chios. The manufacturing costs for four more units are £4000 in total.

“We leave Edinburgh to start our pilot-program on the 28th of May. This pilot will last until the 4th of June in Athens where we plan to collect qualitative data on how refugees respond to our solution, and assessing their needs fully for future iterations of the project.

“Our crowd funding campaign is already live and we really need people’s help to make this happen. Whether it is a donation or sharing what we are doing with your friends, it makes a big difference.”