Spontaneous Village is dedicated to creating community for the displaced through a playful curriculum. This program has three phases that help displaced people rapidly build community through interactive games. Through play, Spontaneous Village helps people become familiar with one another; build the trust that is necessary for community; and ultimately provide tools that help these communities envision next steps and future possibilities.

This program was the brainchild of anthropologist and educator, Brad Fortier. It was piloted in conjunction with the Field Innovation Team as a response to the unaccompanied child migrant crisis at the southern border of the United States in August of 2014. With the assistance of Dr. Mary Tyszkiewicz from Heroic Improvisation, an organization that uses improv to teach disaster response, Brad was able to pilot the first two of the three phases for the children who were staying at St PJ’s Children’s Home International Program.  The program was lauded by staff as an “underdog” program with deep and long-lasting results in terms of building community and opening communication for the children in their care.

Heroic Improvisation and Spontaneous Village work the two sides of disasters. The first prepares people to deal with a disaster or crisis as it unfolds, and the second prepares people to create community in the aftermath. Spontaneous Village and Heroic Improvisation are the dynamic duo of crisis response and recovery.

Spontaneous Village by Brad Fortier is licensed under a creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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