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Hi Bettina,
It's a while since you asked this and we have been poring over a report we commissioned within the camp. This is a Needs & Cultural study to better help us understand the issues faced in the camp around access, training and a raft of other issues.

To try to answer your questions:
Certification for any organisation can be a very expensive route. We do have some "pokers in the fire" on this issue but first we want to provide a comprehensive training plan. We're currently developing this and my own background in technology education and work history in FabLab NerveCentre (along with information from the Needs & Cultural study) is very useful here.
The broad approach is to provide compulsory introductory training on the SAFE USE of all machinery. This is a very standard approach in any open learning space and/or educational setting. Alongside the training is the documentation. The training is useless without it - this will be comprehensive and not just a declaration that someone has received training. It's critical to us to take a position that puts us beyond reproach - and taking that position means that we are protecting our users and the facilities.

Refugees working: it's quite a point of discussion with a lot of reports having been produced. The bottom line on this is that we must be respectful of and adhere to Jordanian law. Within the camp this means limited hours and limited pay is permitted.

Enhanced education: Any such facility anywhere in the world, whether in such a specific community or in the centre of an industrialised city, fails before it starts if it does not consciously engage with the community it aims to serve. To reduce our aim down to one very simple phrase: "it's to help refugees". We will definitely be training and facilitating the use of the facility - but it's about facilitating the community and self identified needs - and if we are going to do that right then it's crucial to regularly bring groups together in order to try to identify needs as they come up. We would fail if we got set up and only ever addressed issues from our Needs & Cultural study - the process is a cyclical one which will include reviews of all our activities with the hope of improving, focusing or widening our provision in recognition of the needs of the users.
Specifically, when it comes to courses, we will certainly aim to target young people - but be careful to schedule times for them which won't clash with any schooling they engage with. My own experience with this is that, no matter what the background, there is something creative and engaging for everyone, regardless of age or gender - or pretty much anything else.

I hope that answers your questions! As for the vehicle, I've been doing some sketches and trying to design in a very modular way - it's early but in my mind's eye, I can already see it being used to good effect!


Hi Justine,
Tony here, I work with Refugee Open Ware in Amman across all aspects of our wider vision and can offer some insight into your questions.
Lower limb prosthetic: Our work has been limited to upper limb so far due to several considerations - the main one is that in the event of a possible failure (which you have alluded to), a lower limb amputee falls and we must always respect that unintended consequences could arise. We are also under no illusion about the difference between the promise and the reality of additive manufacturing. We are currently investigating genuinely portable 3d scanning & milling solutions in order to potentially develop a pipeline which could reduce (or even eliminate) the uncomfortable, inconvenient and costly transportation of amputees in order to be sized for lower limb sockets.
The main hurdle here is perhaps initial cost. But (for us at least) it's not hard to see how a mobile scanning and digital manufacturing unit with a prosthetist and a prosthetic technician could alleviate several of the on the ground issues - time, family commitments, convenience, lack of transport, cost - could all be helped.
Size and cost: For the kind of unit I mentioned above there are a ton of options. The maker movement has exploded and because of this there are many options for robust machinery. We are massively fortunate to have partners who we regard as being nothing short of excellent. Ultimaker build very robust machines (and are true open-source advocates; something we don't just believe in, we will be sharing as much as we can) which can be easily transported and require minimal set up. If you want to keep dust out of any machine then my own view would be to box them for transport and then use their delivery box to cover them while in use - after cutting out a window in them and covering it with cling film or something similar. Colorfabb completely blew me away - we were really impressed with some of their materials so we called them up - their reaction was to pretty much just ask us "how can we help?"
The above may sound like advertising but it's not - Dave is some kind of legend with all of this stuff - I just give him a hug when he brings great equipment and materials to myself and Asem (who is like a SPONGE for learning!) - and then we all nerd out on what can be done with it!
On the electricity issue: There is only one machine on the market which offers a battery pack that I know of. I've done a lot of reaching out to find out about how the particular manufacturer has set up their machines for ease of use and discovered little support and no community. For scaling a project, it's critical to easily communicate the workings of the machine and this particular manufacturer hasn't really provided that support. Battery and mains/solar combinations are very very possible for any application and would be ideal for rural applications. These are not any kind of wizardry to develop - in fact, it's something we've been looking into just this week. All of our findings for tech support will be published free and open source - just like the code for Ahmed's echo location device.

I hope I have helped answer your questions. Our work spans far wider than just prosthetics and so I really have to wonder if Dave has a time machine or something to commit to the level of work he achieves! Because of this, we all try to take as much pressure from him as we can and so I offer our email address: if you wish to make contact. We are currently trying to develop a collaboration platform where people can contribute and/or "lurk" in order to develop any of the myriad projects we want to put time into. All of the areas we are trying to address are based on the needs of those who we hope to benefit both in and from their development. Hopefully our intended collaborative platform can address real issues for people in humanitarian need in Jordan and beyond.