The incredible company Aarambh in India is changing the face of education, by using discarded cardboard to make school bags that can double as student desks. The non-profit has created a transformative design that not only helps kids tote their school supplies, but can fold out into a desk, encouraging better study through proper posture. The ‘Help Desk’ enables students in poorer areas who are used to working on the floor to become better students.
Help Desks start out with members of Aarambh collecting disused cardboard, either from recycling centers or from offices and retail stores who have agreed to give their shipping boxes over to the organization. A stencil template is then laid onto the flattened cardboard boxes and then cut out. The template is then easily folded into a sturdy book bag for carrying supplies to and from school — a stronger alternative to plastic bags, which are common.
Once at school, the bags are unpacked and unfolded. The flat cardboard can then be refolded into a small, elevated and angled desk. With the desk, kids can write more easily, sit more comfortably and improve their handwriting. The elevated desk also makes reading easier, bringing books and papers closer to their little faces, rather than having to strain and read from the floor.
This simple recycling project can transform these kids’ lives, just by providing a tool that makes studying and learning easier. The foldable Help Desk costs virtually nothing to produce, but its effects are invaluable.