Field Ready's Capabilities

We believe that by making useful things, we can make the world a better place. We manufacture supplies in the field so that people have what they need, where and when they need it. The impact of this is more people helped - better, faster and cheaper.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
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Medical Supplies


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Search & Rescue
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Risk Reduction
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In the News

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Field Ready in Action

Finding ways to survive as a refugee is always a challenge - and even more difficult during a pandemic. But our "Protecting The Frontline" program to help stem COVID-19 spread has not only helped displaced people in Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp survive - it's helping them stay safe and even thrive. We've partnered with Needs List and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team workers to help match frontline workers in Bangladesh, Kenya, Iraq and Uganda who need personal protective equipment with local manufacturers in those countries who can make it for them. With support from Creating Hope in Conflict: a Humanitarian Grand Challenge, the program has already received more than 500,000 orders and helped protect more than 250,000 frontline workers who are working to prevent disease spread. In Kakuma, the program helps participants on multiple levels - in addition to helping prevent  COVID-19 and other diseases, it also provides job training and income opportunities for refugees and promotes recycling and sustainable development. On the sustainability front, we're working with  the Fraternity For Development Integrated (FRADI) to turn waste plastic into protective face shields. And the benefits are many, said Raphael Besemi Ng of FRADI. "We're clearing the camp and also cleaning Kakuma town and Kalubuye, reducing pollution and recycling the plastic waste collected for new products," Besemi said. "This project enabled us to get more knowledge of recycling and making new products. We're also enabling our trainees to learn how to make these new products so these women will get skills that will help them produce an income. And the shields are a big safety need for frontline workers as well as motorcyclists and machine workers in the camp, so we are protecting them as well." Training is also a big part of our efforts - and we've been working closely with Kakuma's GLAP Enterprises, which supplies soap and hand sanitizer to local organizations and relief agencies. GLAP Founder and Chief Executive Officer Innocent Havyarimana said in addition to its knowledge sharing, the project's mentoring helps bolster particpants' confidence and sense of self-reliance. Havyarimana, a former chemist in his native Burundi, said both the project's aim and outcome are deeply gratifying to him. "We are not only supplying soap and sanitizer to churches, NGOs, organizations and the community to stay healthy, but people are learning how to do this themselves," he said. In addition to helping GLAP, we're training young people at the camp's Don Bosco Vocational Training Center to build locally made, foot-operated handwashing stations. "This is very, very important, particularly during the time of COVID-19 and the pandemic," said Ben Mburu, director of the Don Bosco center. "This handwashing station means there is no contact (to practice hygiene), so it makes it safe for people and very effective at preventing disease spread. And the skills being learned in building the handwashing stations are helping these young men create a source of income and livelihood, which they will then also be able to pass on to others and build capacity." Participants in each of the initiatives are only beginning to see the program's long-term benefits, said Solidarity Initiative For Refugees engineer and trainer Yassir Mohammed.  With the high-end 3D printer received from Field Ready, Mohammed said he is training more young people than before to produce face shields for community frontline workers. "In the first wave of COVID-19, we were not able to access face shields in the community," he said. "We could not make enough. But this printer added to our other two allows a faster production rate to keep more people safe. And people see how they can use this later (to make additional items) as well." The project is scheduled to continue this summer. For more information about how to get, make or give PPE for the project, please visit www.makeitlocal.org.

Building a future and keeping it clean in Kakuma

Finding ways to survive as a refugee is always a challenge - and even more difficult during a pandemic. But our "Protecting The...

When an enormous storm has knocked out power and your phone is out of juice, how do you reestablish communication? How do you power your lights to see at night? Those were some of the problems faced by thousands on remote Philippine islands after Super Typhoon Rai/Odette made landfall in December. Unlike mainland residents, they couldn't just wait for the power to be turned back on - there is no central power source. But Field Ready had a quick solution: locally made portable solar charging kits. Thanks to the quick thinking of our team there and two partner organizations,  we helped about 5,000 people in some 950 households reach out on their phones and turn on some lights after they'd been cut off from power for days. We partnered with Fablab UP Cebu and Light of Hope to design and produce the units locally. Fablab UP Cebu is the first fabrication laboratory in Cebu, providing public access to digital fabrication tools to anyone who wants to make almost anything. Light of Hope is a local organization working to provide sustainable energy sources to households. Funded by The Chicago Community Trust, we put together 25 solar charging units with local materials and then distributed them in three island barangays (small islets), and  in an evacuation center in Cebu City. Each charging kit can charge up to 50 cellular devices a day, and can also be used to light common areas at night. The chargers were a quick and reliable solution for many who lost power when Super Typhoon Rai (called Typhoon Odette in the Philippines) slammed into the eastern Philippine islands Dec. 16. The storm made first landfall on Siargao island and continued west through Bohol and Cebu. Much of the area lost power, local and regional air travel was disrupted, sea traffic halted and many businesses closed. Getting connected While mainland Bohol and Cebu province were largely recovering by February,  the smaller barangays around them were still struggling. Too far from the mainland to draw from those power sources, and often surrounded by shallow reefs reachable only by smaller boats, barangays are the smallest administrative division in the Philippines under a city or municipality and must be largely self-reliant for utility services. Even before the storms, sustainable electricity was a challenge on the barangays -  while some residents rely on individually owned generators and large solar systems for electricity, many can't  afford their own power setup. Those people bring their radios, flashlights, fans, power banks and cell phones to their powered-up neighbors to charge for a fee. But Typhoon Rai made the situation worse: the 81 island barangays in Bohol were severely damaged - including existing generators and solar setups. In Cebu, eight  island groups  were also damaged. In total, some 212,000 were left without power. But we have some experience in reconnecting people after disasters. For this program, we focused our power-aid efforts initially on Jagoliao Island and Sag Island in Bohol, and Pangan-an Island in Cebu. Building the chargers In keeping with our "make it local" aim, we purchased all the materials used for the charging units within the country’s available stocks and resources. This eliminated the wait as a result of ordering parts overseas. We and our partners decided to focus on safety and longevity, community use and portability when designing the solar charging units. First up was safety and longevity. It was important to be able to charge cell phones and other devices but use fewer internal wires; more wires increases the possibility of shorting out and starting a fire. So we decided to use USB ports, instead of the Type A outlet generally used in the Philippines. This limited the potential risk of individuals plugging extension wires in to allow the use of larger appliances. We also removed inverters from the design to keep it compact, and allow space for more batteries to expand its capacity. We decided on a lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePo 4) which needs little maintenance and lasts four to five years;  in comparison, lead-acid batteries last just two to three years. Then we decided that the most people would benefit if the chargers were offered in community areas. We initially planned to set them up in evacuation centers - but evacuation centers were only used for the first few days after the typhoon in the island barangays. So we looked for local guidance; working with a Purok or Sitio - a local government division in each barangay - we were able to locate central areas in communities using a limited budget and help the largest number of people. Teaming up with local government officials also helped involve community members in the effort to help ensure the chargers would be maintained later. We also wanted to ensure the chargers were portable to help local risk reduction offices and allow responders to get them into hard-to-reach areas in need of power sources.  So we used a toolbox as the basis for the design; a tool box is small and easily carried by its handle, can be opened for access to the mechanism and closed and latched for safekeeping. Toolboxes were also available everywhere in the Philippine market, so finding them was relatively simple even after the typhoon. Distribution and benefits When the chargers were ready, we partnered with local response group Project Bangon Bohol, to coordinate with the identified islands in the province. In Cebu, the organization has tapped into the local government of Lapu-lapu City for transportation and coordination. Field Ready and Fablab UP Cebu’s team then taught community members how install and position the solar chargers, use them and maintain them so they last as long as possible. The units also had an unintended benefit for users - they saved money. Charging fees in the island barangays are as much as 25PHP (about 40 cents USD) per phone. Most people need to charge their phone twice daily - in a month, the cost to charge one phone can equal about 900PHP ($18 USD) or almost half of the average household monthly electric bill at 1,940PHP (38.8USD). But until local governments invest in extending power lines underwater to the barangays, the cost will remain steep. Using the solar charging kits cut power costs and allowed more people access to electricity. Users welcomed the chargers for their ease, convenience and cost savings. Because the barangays are so remote, the chargers are a sustainable and regular power source even when no storms or other disasters threaten communities' infrastructure. The video below shows the team in action. We 're currently seeking more funding to scale up the charging project in the Philippines and continue working with our local partners...and hope to soon offer more communities the ability to sustainably power up better, faster and cheaper!

Powering up after Super Typhoon Rai/Odette

When an enormous storm has knocked out power and your phone is out of juice, how do you reestablish communication? How do you power your...

The Field Ready family of makerspaces has grown again! Last month we welcomed Suli Innovation House in Sulimaniyah, Iraq, to our group of partner makerspaces. They join Erbil Innovation House in Erbil and and IOT Maker in Baghdad, bringing the total of Iraqi makerspaces under the Field Ready umbrella to three. All three are also part of the Maker's HIVE makerspace network. Makerspaces are an important part of Field Ready's development aim - they provide a place for people in a community to learn new technology and skills, create, innovate, try out new ideas and build prototypes. They're also networking and training sites - and many young people discover that they're not only places to help them advance but also good places to house start-ups. Suli Innovation House's grand opening welcomed about 45 local and international officials to the 2,500-square-foot space for a day of celebration and demonstrations, and invited members of the public in later that afternoon. Staff provided a delicious spread of local delicacies - and attendees could hop on to the "Blender Bicycle" (gifted to SIH by its sibling IOT Maker) to create their own fruit-filled smoothies to drink. While welcoming visitors with speeches, introductions, videos, tours and food, SIH staff also showcased the makerspace's 3D printer, CNC cutting machine, laser cutter and some of the projects innovators have created using the devices at the other makerspaces. One of the most moving displays was the Careables exhibition; the exhibit features assistive pieces to help make physical challenges easier for disabled people. All of the Careables pieces were designed and printed by Erbil Innovation House community members. Attendees  also got to play with an oversized chess set that was created at IOT Maker using a laser cutter. In addition to SIH's makerspace, the site features a coworking space, training room, crafts room, kitchen, storage room and meeting room. Community members and those participating in trainings have already benefited from an online, soft-skills training in the Basics of Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking, a technical training on 2D Design on Laser Cutter and another technical training in 2D design on the CNC machine. Team members are adding new trainings almost every week. Trainings at SIH will be held in both English and Kurdish as often as possible to make them available to the broadest possible audience, noted Roza Shorish, SIH's community manager. "So many young people (here) don't speak English or Arabic, so we wanted to make sure they had the opportunity to learn in their native language," she said. Staff had worked for months to build out and decorate the interior of the makerspace, as well as install the machines and equipment. Every one logged hours and hours of cleaning, hammering and painting prior to the Feb. 5 launch celebration. But all agreed the hard work turned out well. "We had local officials and GIZ [Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit] here from 2 to 4 p.m., and at 4 p.m. (we opened) to the public and we had a very good turn out," said Shorish. "Everyone had a very good time." We're looking forward to lots of innovation and creativity at SIH - keep your eye on this space!

Welcoming A New Makerspace in Sulimaniyah

The Field Ready family of makerspaces has grown again! Last month we welcomed Suli Innovation House in Sulimaniyah, Iraq, to our group of...


Humanitarian Making

Solving tough challenges, sharing information and learning are best done when people are connected. Field Ready supports the group, Humanitarian Makers, which is achieving things no single person or group can. 

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Our parts Catalog provides essential details for 100+ useful products. This user-friendly Catalog enables technology specialists and non-specialists to talk about the same items and consider issues such as readiness and risks.


Field Ready Book

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