Posted on Friday, January 24, 2014 by Jim Norrena
(inset l-r) Emi Watanabe, Kyaligaba Frank, and Andrew Maxwell-Parish
California College of the Arts Hybrid Lab manager Andrew Maxwell-Parish spent his holiday break far away from the college, helping a community he’d never met before.
After crowd-sourcing funds from friends and family in order to travel to Kampala, Uganda, he and his "instructables" colleague Emi Watanabe flew half-way around the globe to meet Kyaligaba Frank, who is in charge of the 3D printers owned by local Kampala-based nonprofit Village Energy.
I'm hopeful that philanthropic endeavors will be the next progression of the maker movement. The time in which those of us who have learned so much and have been enabled in ways that we didn't think possible a few years ago, can go out and teach others, enabling them the same way that we have. -- Andrew Maxwell-Parish
Addressing Real-World Problems
Maxwell-Parish and Watanabe set up the trip through Re-Allocate, a nonprofit that "leverages a volunteer network of high-level technologists, designers, and innovative thinkers to holistically address real-world problems" to connect change-makers with projects that have social impact.
Social Impact One Project at a Time
Maxwell-Parish and Watanabe used their 3D-printing skills to help fix the equipment in Uganda. They also taught a program, called solid works, to better equip Frank to create small solar products like lamps and cell-phone chargers.
Having grown up in rural Minnesota, Maxwell-Parish is no stranger to making do with what you have at hand; he and Watanabe have now helped this small solar company move many steps forward to small-scale manufacturing and self-reliance.