Community-Driven Innovation


The Future is Offline

Offline access to vocational training and higher education for refugees

Team Lead

Jérémy Lachal

Solution Pitch

The Problem

Despite existing qualifications and skills, young refugees face numerous obstacles to continuing their education, such as language barriers, lack of degree recognition, and limited financial resources. While existing online education programs could address these barriers, opportunities for refugees are further limited due to a lack of internet access. This is particularly true in rural areas, where only 22 percent of refugees are connected, and even if they are connected, connectivity is often unreliable and expensive.

The Solution

To expand opportunities for refugees, Libraries Without Borders and Kiron Open Higher Education developed The Future is Offline, a program that provides refugees with offline access to multilingual digital learning resources and certification from top universities at accessible rates. The program gives refugees access to dozens of massive open online courses (MOOCs), which include video, homework, and oversight via SMS. 

Content is stored in secure digital (SD) cards, enabling off-grid use. The Future is Offline also equips collective learning spaces with local servers containing offline MOOCs. The coursework and learning spaces empower students to learn together while shaping their own vocational futures. 

Market Opportunity

There are an estimated 1 million refugees in the Middle East who lack access to learning and skills development opportunities because of their displacement. Many online programs exist, but most are unavailable offline and are not multilingual. Globally, The Future is Offline aims to expand to 20 million end-users disconnected from the internet across developing countries.

Partnership Goals

The Future is Offline currently seeks: 

  • Logistics support to build a client distribution system for emergency situations and developing countries;
  • Expertise to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework with relevant indicators, and conduct rigorous and agile research to assess impact;
  • Guidance and support around software development, software architecture, and UI/UX; and
  • Financial support through donations, sponsorships, and the dissemination of branded content for thematic international NGOs and agencies.

Organization Highlights

Libraries Without Borders has received numerous recognitions, including: 

  • Selection as an Ashoka Fellow; 
  • Winning the 2015 Google Impact Challenge; 
  • Winning the 2016 Wise Award; and 
  • Selection for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Kiron has won several awards and challenges, including: 

  • The 2019 European Leadership Award;
  • The 2018 AWS City on a Cloud Award; and 
  • The 2016 Google Impact Challenge. 

Existing Partnerships

Libraries without Borders and Kiron currently partner with several organizations to provide offline education, such as:

  • Google, H&M Foundation, Ford Foundation, several German Ministries, and UK Aid, which provide funding and logistical support;
  • MOOC providers such as edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn, which ensure learners have free access to high-quality MOOCs from world-renowned universities; and
  • More than 60 partner universities, which help recognize digital learning outcomes acquired by students when transferring to university.


Libraries Without Borders has impacted more than 6 million people since 2007.

Course completion on Kiron is 10 times higher compared to other online education providers.

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Montreuil, France

Company Stage:

Working in:
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon



Solution Team:

  • Jérémy Lachal Executive Director, Libraries Without Borders
  • Kate Muwoki Head of Donor Relations, Kiron Open Higher Education
  • Muy Cheng Peich Director of Education / Lab Coordinator, Libraries Without Borders / Offline Internet Consortium

Economic Prosperity

Offline Access to Training for Refugees

Solver The Future is Offline received the $25,000 Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Prize from Member Andan Foundation in 2019 to provide offline access to vocational training and higher education for refugees.

Economic Prosperity

Offline Access to Training for Refugees

Solver The Future is Offline, which provides offline access to vocational training and higher education for refugees, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as a Community-Driven Innovation Solver.

to Top