Local "caremongering" mutual-aid groups are popping up around the world in response to COVID-19, including in Aotearoa New Zealand. We saw an opportunity to provide a directory map of such groups, as well as existing care groups like food banks, Neighborhood Support, volunteer networks, and nationwide organisations.
Additional features like crowdsourced how-to's became included in our scope as we worked on the project and gathered community feedback.
What it does
For v1, the website provides an interactive map directory with search / location functionality for finding local "care groups" - foodbanks, volunteer networks, neighborhood support, and other organizations. We want to help Kiwis and especially vulnerable individuals quickly and easily find and give care.
How we built it
We used Mapme, which is built on Mapbox, to devise our map solution. The website is Squarespace and crowd-sourced how-to's are Google Docs. Plus we're using Google Forms and Sheets in the backend, and releasing Airtable tools inside our local community.
Challenges we ran into
Making things simple and easy. Working in the backend with Mapbox and Airtable quickly felt overwhelming without much experience. Mapme solved this for our Mapbox implementation.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
New Zealand is on day 7 of the lockdown when I'm writing this, so I think we got a decent v1 out within short period of time. Ultimately the question is whether it will prove useful to the communities we're trying to reach.
What we learned
We learned how many amazing and generous care groups exist within the local communities of Aotearoa New Zealand.
What's next for Caremongering NZ - under development
We have a number of features in mind around virtual event listings, making it easier to suggest/edit data, and how we coordinate volunteers on the backend. But mostly we're first interested in hearing what people think and need as they use the website.