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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Design For Development Society (DFD) Receives Charitable Status!

The idea of DFD started about two years ago while when Sue Fairburn and Niki Dun participated in a design workshop in rural South Africa. There they used design to solve problems and empower communities to self-reliance. Soon after, Design For Development was born based on the premise that they would use the design process as a problem-solving tool to address specific issues in areas of the world where basic human needs are not being met.

Though the aim was lofty they were well on the way to achieving it with they’re first project – a Bike Ambulance manufacturing facility in Namibia. The bike ambulance, their main project to date, was developed to improve the referral of patients to clinics from local communities and homesteads in situations where motorized transport is unavailable or inappropriate.

In Namibia they’ll be working to make the bike ambulance available to rural villages and health clinics, as well as providing community members with practical skills so that they can address future issues with confidence. DFD focuses on designing for (and with) the end-user, utilizing local materials and means of manufacture. They will be providing training to local trades people in the manufacturing of the bike ambulance, as well as in basic design and marketing.

It is this project that a number of Rotary clubs have recognized as their International Project of the Year and have agreed to partially fund. With the first phase of the project to begin in Windhoek, Namibia in June 2007, the fledgling society is now looking for additional support so that they can ensure the project progresses smoothly and completely! DFD is inviting people to help make this project a success. Reaching their project target of CAD$20,000 will ensure that they get bike ambulances and manufacturing/maintenance facilities to communities where they’re needed most.

Can you help?

To support the project, you can Donate Online through Canada Helps http://www.canadahelps.org * Donate by Mail: If you would prefer to donate by mail, email at info@designfordevelopment.org for a DFD donation form and send it along with a cheque made payable to Design For Development to:

Design For Development Society

PO Box 21658 - 1424 Commercial Drive

Vancouver BC Canada

V5L5G3

All donations from Canadian sources will receive a tax receipt.

Take a look at their recently updated website (www.designfordevelopment.org). Find out more about the bike ambulance and DFD’s other areas of focus. Ask questions by email or phone and please feel free to pass along our link to others who might be interested. Contact? We can be reached by email at info@designfordevelopment.org or by telephone at +1 604 329 9657 (Canada) or +44 1224 485 029 (UK).

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