A broken window may seem like a small problem – but depending on the climate, it can render homes uninhabitable, making their residents more vulnerable, endangering their health, and threatening them with displacement or homelessness. Every year, millions of people around the world are driven into this cycle of vulnerability for different reasons. One major reason is conflict.

The Instant Windows project aims to intervene early on by offering a simple, inexpensive replacement for broken windows, restoring people’s shelter and preventing a slide into displacement and further vulnerability.

Boarded Up Windows in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2016. Photograpyh by Dimitri Beliakov

Boarded Up Windows in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2016. Photograpyh by Dimitri Beliakov


The world is increasingly witnessing the catastrophic impact of armed conflict in urban areas, with some 50 million people suffering the consequences. 

Conflict, terrorism and natural disasters have a significant impact on homes all over the world. Adequate shelter and living space are both a basic condition for human survival and a fundamental human right; its loss is an important driver of mass displacement in affected areas.

barriers to repair

Conflict simultaneously increases the risk of broken windows and makes them more difficult to repair: markets in affected areas are understocked, services are disrupted, and people’s financial resources are depleted. 

Instant Windows doesn’t aim to offer a flashy gadget, but rather an inexpensive tool that is both accessible and practical, even under extreme circumstances.