Child Protection in the US
In 2014, a huge surge in unaccompanied children coming from Central America into the United States. The numbers grew to over 60,000 in 2014 alone. Most come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala where endemic poverty and violent crime are major drivers of their displacement. Many of those children without family in the US are relying on civil society organizations to find refuge, even if temporarily. To make it this far, they’ve displaced a remarkable degree of resilience and fortitude.
Working at the invitation of and in close cooperation with the Field Innovation Team (FIT) and St. PJ Children’s Home, Field Ready deployed to San Antonio, Texas over a two week period in August (2014). Field Ready staff joined a collaborative effort that included activities in Art, Theater and Improvisation and Technology. This work has been compiled into an activity book for youth empowerment, the collaborative open source solution can be found here. Together, these activities assisted approximately 140 children.
Field Ready’s effort involved an interactive design-centered problem-solving workshop process based on the CityX Project developed by IdeaCo. Through this project, MakerBot 3D printers and related equipment were used but the emphasis was on technology but in providing a meaningful experience for children. A crucial piece of this project included sharing skills with the staff of St PJ Children’s Home to carry on activities after our departure.
Hurricane Response in the Caribbean
Hurricanes Irma and Maria have been the most powerful and destructive hurricane recorded in the Atlantic. The destruction began in the Caribbean when Irma’s winds were a Category 5, the strongest measure on the hurricane wind scale. Hurricane Maria has been equally powerful and destructive. The losses were massive: lives, property and critical infrastructure have been lost. In many places, electrical power has been lost and won't return for another year.
Field Ready launched a response in late September which identified the need for electrical power as critical, particularly for vulnerable families. Working with our local partner, My Brother’s Workshop (MWB), Field Ready developed concept to address this need using locally sourced materials. This includes the repair and reuse of salvaged solar panels - damaged in the hurricanes but still able to produce power. These are being used to power a range of electrical items such as lighting, cell phone charging and wifi hotspots. A crucial piece of this pilot includes teaching local people which will empower them to meet their needs directly.
The impact of our work is unlike other aid agencies. A single repair, such as fixing a power supply, can benefit thousands of people. “We’ll be able to rapidly make a difference,” says Dara Dotz, a member of Field Ready’s Rapid Emergency Deployment Team. “With the start of our response, we’ll begin with the aim of building people’s resilience.”
More information is available in this 1-page pdf