The Canadian charity Design For Development Society (DFD) fights poverty with design. How? By coming up with design solutions together with communities in developing countries that can be developed and sustained locally. DFD's aim is to "reduce poverty and increase community self-reliance through demonstrated and advocated use of the design process".
This is exactly what they intend on doing in order to design and manufacture an emergency medical transportation devices (EMTD) for western Kenya. The solution: a Bambulance. Made from the sustainable local material bamboo (more about bamboo in Kenya here), the bambulance will improve transportation for patients as well as medics to and from rural areas, where other transport methods don't exist or are unsuitable. The benefits of this EMTD are improved speed and comfort over what is currently available, while maintaining cost efficiency and sustainability. Plus, the project will provide education and sustainable employment for HIV positive women and youth. Western Kenya was chosen to launch the pilot project, and DFD is now designing and manufacturing 5 bambulances. These will serve as prototypes to monitor their effects on local needs and the environment. Later on, DFD will work towards setting up a facility, where the local communities get trained to manage and maintain the production and reparation for the bambulance fleet.
Also check out the Bicycle-pulled Ambulance in Namibia, an ongoing successful project by DFD and partners Bicycling Empowerment Network. Via: Facebook (where you can make donations and invite others to the cause. ::Design for Development