Thank you for visiting the TravlerPack Fund page! This is our third campaign, following a successful first
campaigns. Below you can find more information about our project, our impact, our press coverage, and our story. If you are curious, you can also take a look at our website
. Oh and all donations are tax-deductible!! Quick SummaryWhat is TravlerPack?
TravlerPack is a high-quality, multipurpose sleeping bag designed with input from refugees to meet their needs during the winter and everyday life. What is the problem you are addressing?
Refugees in Syria have no reliable and sustainable ways to stay warm during the winter when temperatures drop below freezing and snow storms ravage the area.
What is your goal?
We want to distribute as many TravlerPack as possible to Syrian refugees in Idlib, Syria.What have you done so far?
We have currently distributed 600 TravlerPacks in Idlib, Syria where they have been used to keep children warm during the winter.Who are you?
We are a team of undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from different backgrounds trying to make a small difference.
There are two
main ways you can help:
1) You can share our GoFundMe campaign through Facebook, Twitter, email, word-of-mouth, etc. (Facebook and Twitter "share" buttons are right above)
2) Donate to our campaign. Give what you can, and help us meet our goal! Every $50 sends one TravlerPack to a refugee
and all donations are tax-deductible.Press Coverage:
We’ve been fortunate to be featured in a few news outlets: Associated Press
, LA Times
, CBS News
, NBC News
, MIT News
, World Journal
, and LinkedIn
.How will Funds be used?
Funds raised will first be spent on manufacturing TravlerPacks. Next they will be used to ship TravlerPacks to Mersin, Turkey where our Non-Profit Partner, NuDay Syria, has a local team that will transport the bags into Syria through the Bab Al-Hawa international crossing. From there, NuDay Syria will distribute TravlerPacks to refugees in Idlib, Syria.Table of Contents
-Partnership with NuDay SyriaImpact
This past winter we sent 600 sleeping bags to Idlib, Syria. TravlerPacks were distributed to families with children and elderly. When these refugees were asked about TravlerPack, they were very enthusiastic, stating that TravlerPack helps protect them from the cold and illness. TravlerPack doesn't require fuel or batteries, making it an ideal solution to the current alternatives to stay warm.
We know that TravlerPack can make a difference, and we appreciate your help and support in making a tangible impact in the lives of those whose needs far exceed our own.Problem
Throughout the past few years, civil war and instability has plagued the Middle East. Those most affected by the ongoing violence have not been the government nor the protesters, but the civilians displaced from their homes.What are the conditions like in the Middle East?
The Middle East has been known to have brutal winters that can have devastating effects on refugees. Temperatures drop below freezing frequently and snowstorms plague the area. High costs in both fuel and wood, poor housing conditions, and lack of alternatives for staying warm make life even harder during the winter.
We asked our Non-Profit Partner, NuDay Syria, to help us learn more about the situation on the ground. A young girl NuDay Syria interviewed revealed her greatest fear: "that the winter will come back, because during the winter, the cold and illnesses will come back as well."
There are very few ways to stay warm: burn fuel, wood, or whatever is available. Even worse, both fuel and wood can be expensive and hard to come by in certain areas.
Multiple interviews with refugees revealed just how hard it is to stay warm:
A middle-aged man, told us, "an organization gave us a wood heater, but we did not have money for wood so we could not use it."
One family was forced to start "gathering old clothes and burning them in a wood heater to protect ourselves from the cold weather since we could not afford fuel."
Another family faced a similar situation when they heated their apartment by "burning old stuff we gathered from the streets as fuel was too expensive."
Overall, refugees wanted to emphasize the lack of resources in keeping them warm: "we were always freezing since we did not have fuel and could not pay for it."
Refugees do not have a sustainable means to stay warm at night in conditions that threaten their chances of survival and a better life. Product
TravlerPack is a one-of-a-kind, all-encompassing hybrid sleeping bag-blanket. We designed TravlerPack to be as versatile as possible with the ability to meet the many needs of refugees in any number of conditions.What are the important features?
Shoulder Strap: A messenger-style shoulder strap makes TravlerPack easy to carry. When on the move, refugees are still able to wear a backpack and keep both hands free.
Full length zipper: A full length zipper increases the versatility of the sleeping bag, allowing it to be completely unzipped and unfolded into a blanket.
Outer and inner storage: In some cases, it may be hard for a refugee to safely and securely store personal belongings like money, travel papers, cellphones, etc. TravlerPack features a storage pocket on the outside and 5 pockets on the inside all secured with velcro.
Pillow pocket: A pillow pocket at the head of the sleeping bag is big enough to store a jacket or additional clothing. It can also double as a pillow during the night.
Foot zipper: If it gets too stuffy in a TravlerPack, there is a second zipper at the bottom that allows refugees to stick their feet out and cool off while still keeping TravlerPack zipped around their body.
Blanket capability: TravlerPacks can be fully unzipped to become a blanket. This allows for flexibility and makes TravlerPack useful for refugees who might already have a mattress but are looking for something warm to cover over more than one person.
Combinable TravlerPacks: We added compatible zippers to the design so that left-zipper aligned and right-zipper aligned TravlerPacks can be zipped together. This allows small families and couples to sleep together and preserve heat. TeamVick
: Vick is a junior at MIT. Before college, Vick spent 7 years as a Boy Scout camping and backpacking on a regular basis with Troop 174 of Temple City, California. He would become an Eagle Scout in October 2015. The years of experience in the backcountry and character development in scouting would ultimately inspire Vick to start TravlerPack in hopes of making a small, but tangible impact in the world.Max
: Max traveled extensively growing up. Through Spanish studies in Peru, fieldwork in the American Southwest, and cultural immersion in India he has fostered compassion for people and the world. Max has used his interest in filmmaking to create an effective outlet for positive change. He has directed several documentaries about environmental issues, traveling abroad, and life at MIT, where he is in his junior year.Partnership with NuDay Syria
One Person at a Time, One Humanity Closer. All you have to do is care and want change in Syria to happen, and together we can help and make a difference. NuDay Syria is dedicated to self-sustainability and long-term projects, keeping Syrian mothers and their priorities and needs in mind. Many of these women have crossed the Syrian border to avoid religious and political persecution or fled their homes to escape regime and extremist attacks - only to find themselves in dire circumstances with few options to safeguard their children and themselves with dignity.
NuDay Syria is a non-profit organization focused on bringing humanitarian and medical aid to mothers and children inside Syria and in the bordering areas in Turkey. Emphasizing empowerment through dignified means of service, NuDay Syria aims to develop self-sustainable programs to provide possibilities for displaced mothers to obtain a means of income, while providing their children with educational opportunities, thus normalizing their living circumstances.
Ultimately, NuDay Syria aims to ensure financial independence and a productive future through fostering a mentality of world citizenry amongst those we serve.
For more information on NuDay Syria, please visit us at www.nudaysyria.net