COVID Pandemic Response in the US
In 2020, Field Ready mobilized in the first part of the global COVID-19 pandemic including responding to communities hard hit in the US. Working with local partners, nearly 5,000 face shields were made and distributed to various groups in need including the Navajo Nation in Arizona and Chicago’s South Side. Field Ready also supported an initiative to design and support community members to make custom face coverings for local distribution.
Action Assessment in Colombia
In response to the waning civil conflict, and ongoing refugee crisis stemming from neighboring Venezuela, Field Ready carried out a series of assessments and pilot projects in 2018. This relied on our use of technology, integrative programming and, most of all, our heavy emphasis on localization. In one small town called San Luis, for instance, Field Ready found unsafe water sources and taught the local people (including a nearby school) how to create an active carbon filter using freely available materials in the area.
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
Local Making in East Africa
The countries in what are known as the Horn of Africa experience chronic humanitarian situations including forced displacement, severe drought and conflict. To address a variety of needs and concerns, in 2017, Field Ready led the MakerNet project aimed at connecting local manufacturing capability and demonstrating the power of local manufacturing. More information about Field Ready's activities in Kenya can be found here. In 2017, Field Ready, in partnership with Water for South Sudan, carried out an action assessment to address critical water and sanitation needs. Both of this projects are expected to continue in various forms in the future. More information about Field Ready's activities in South Sudan can be found here.
Medical Devices in Haiti
Throughout its history, Haiti has experienced ongoing developmental and humanitarian challenges and the earthquake of 2010 only exacerbated conditions there. Nearly every sector is stressed and in vital areas such as health even basic items remain hard to find and sometimes unavailable. Pioneering aspects of in-situ manufacturing, from 2013-2015, Field Ready deployed specialists to Port-au-Prince to meet demand on-the-ground in select health facilities. We maintain a desire to continue programming in Haiti and intend to return in the future. More information can be found here.
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.