In the beginning of 2010, we toasted to another blessing-filled year. We prayed for the courage to seize opportunities benevolently handed to us by the Powers that be. 2 months into 2010 and I think this year is turning out to be promising!
About 4 months ago, one such “hand-out” fell on my lap. I think this reawakened the same passion that fueled me to go to grad school and to shift my career trajectory towards the realm of public service. I mentioned this little (career) development to you in passing before but didn’t want to get into any details as I didn’t want to count them eggs before they hatched. So what exactly am I rambling about here?
MADDEL is a social enterprise start up which I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to join. In a nutshell, we provide easy-to- use technology that help displaced families affected by conflict, disasters and extreme poverty rebuild their lives. What exactly does this mean? It means MADDEL will assist affected families in every step of their rehabilitation and rebuilding process. Our entry point would be to first provide them with temporary shelter. The MADDEL Team is blessed to have a handful of brilliant architects, engineers and designers who are very responsive to the needs of these unfortunate families. Check out what they’ve come up with.
This is what we’ve tentatively named Mark II. Its made of Polypropylene material (read: like plastic) that makes the shelter lightweight, easily transportable (as a flat pack) and easily assembled in refugee sites. Having said that, this shelter is reusable too!
Mark II shelters can be used as stand alone units or as part of a larger unit to build on-site temporary clinics, triage centers or even schools! Can you imagine if this was already available after Typhoon Ondoy, the 2004 Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina or even the recent earthquake in Haiti?
I think the schools idea resonates most with me because affected children need not interrupt their education due to their displacement. Cool, no?
To better appreciate the portability and ease of installation of the Mark II, I urge you to check out this link. The animation is pretty awesome, if I may say so myself.
This next one is named Mark V. It’s a more evolved version of the Mark II and was literally conceptualized in the back of a napkin while taking into consideration the inputs of prospective buyers during a presentation in Geneva. We call this transformable shelter because users can actually “transform” this shelter into their new home. They just pack this puppy up and go back to their neighborhood with a new home.
MADDEL’S service does not stop at the humanitarian response level. If we stopped at this level, wouldn’t our efforts be considered as merely “reactive” (wink, wink)? We also ensure that these families are able to sustain their living through products like the MADDEL Water Purification…
MADDEL Wall System to help hem swiftly rebuild their homes…
And MADDEL Agriculture and MADDEL Sanitation which is currently under development.
Our business model is simple. Generate enough revenue from the humanitarian response side of the business (read: sell as many shelters as possible) so we can finance the sustainable development part of the enterprise (read: help in rebuilding their lives through community building efforts). I think our edge as a small player in the development industry would be our easy-to-use technology that will help affected families get back up on their feet. But i also think we have an advantage because of the passionate, fire-burning-in-our-belly members of Team MADDEL. We are committed to creating little miracles daily so the lives of people around us improve even just a little bit.
The last few months have been an exciting time for us as we’ve been thinking of creative ways to penetrate this challenging market. But as you already know, I’m all for the journey and I can’t wait to see where this one will take me! So tell me what ya think?