In conflict zones, when it’s not safe to leave your house to get information, mobile phones can bridge the gap and keep everyone connected,” says Souktel co-founder Jacob Korenblum. “This basic technology allows aid workers, educators and local families to stay in contact at all times.”

Here’s how it works: At each school, principals and teachers are given password-protected access to a web interface, where they can send SMS alerts to all parents’ mobile phones. In an emergency, they could write, “Attack near school today, please keep your children at home.” Once the violence has ended, another message could go out saying, “Shelling has stopped; please come to school this morning.