Existence without recognition. Living in limbo. Undocumented. Stolen lives. Stolen dreams.
This article put a pause on my iPhone gazing / Netflix binging / Election nauseating – in general excesses of life. A life that billions of us live and enjoy every day. A pause that deeply hurts because we can do so much more yet we are not.
The headlines in recent days have ignored the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding every second that goes by. Yet, we face an all time high number of refugees worldwide – 60 million! Add to that the 2.5 billion who live in extreme poverty! With the world’s population approaching 8 billion human beings, brothers, in the not too distant future, what sort of world are we going to leave our children to deal with.
More refugees? More Assad? More Rohingya? More Dadaab? More Mogadishu? More Congo? More Maduro?
This article is a very dark reminder of the loss of or lack of identity. Imagine losing all your current records – drivers license, passport, and SSN all erased tomorrow morning and nobody could verify who you are. Not your employer, not your bank, not your Bloomingdales shopping concierge. Nobody knows who you are! What would you do? You would be like millions of refugees and unbanked worldwide; lost and non-existent yet very much alive with hopes and dreams of a warm meal and quite bed and decent day of hard work to feed your family. Might be an interesting exercise to go through just for empathy sake!
Humanitarian agencies are trying their best and continue to be stretched thin everyday. While they have their inadequacies and inefficiencies they are still on the front lines getting aid into conflict zones every day.
But there is a HUGE gap. A gap that needs to be filled by the private sector. By businesses. It is time for big, bold ideas to solve this humanitarian crisis.
Traditional methods can’t sustain the wall that’s crumbling around us. We are seeing the impacts of that in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino. You may ask how is this all linked. Just think about it. If you have no identity and you are 18/19 year old refugee (fleeing from mortar shells and IEDs), nameless, no identity, but you have a cell phone and access to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram! Guess who is looking to recruit you? ISIS and BokoHaram and AlShabab!! One doesn’t have to look across the Atlantic. We have the same issue with gangs in America.
The terrorists and gang leaders love “no identity” customers!
So here is a BOLD idea. A universal identity for every one of the 60 million refugees! An identity that is portable and not stuck in a 3-ring binder of the INGO or Aid organization. An identity that is owned by the individual permanently.
There is a lot of chatter (and some serious VC money to back the chatter) around financial identities for the “millenniums” so that they can have a better financial future. Unfortunately, they are talking about iPhone gazing, UBER hauling, Chipotle (do people still eat there?) chomping millenniums that live in developed countries.
Our bold idea is to create a universal identity for the 60 million refugees such that they can get access to a clear path out of refugee status and onto living normal peaceful lives. Nobody wants to be a refugee. Nobody wants to be faceless / nameless human being.
The identity we are proposing is already in motion. The blockchain has made it possible. At BanQu (www.banquapp.com) we are the first-ever (patent pending) platform to enable a True Universal Identity for refugees and the unbanked and the poorest of the poor. Because we believe that every human being needs to be treated with dignity and respect. No identity. No dignity. Once you have a BanQu ID (see our video www.banquapp.com/howbanquworks) you can take control of your destiny. Anywhere you go, your BanQu ID goes (and grows) with you. No cell phone needed. No plastic card needed. No thumbprint needed (btw – the days of thumbprint as a biometric are numbered due to the recent breaches in security with thumbprints).
- Just you and your selfie. And the world will recognize you.
- Recognize your trust network.
- Recognize your journey through every refugee camp and aid station. That is life changing.
Join us in this fight to end extreme poverty. Join us in this race to give 60 million of our brothers and sisters their hopes and dreams back. Their dignity back.
Because if we don’t, someday we may exist in limbo ourselves.