Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)

AVN's mission is to improve housing conditions through an appropriate architecture, as soon as possible, for as many people as possible. In sub-Saharan Africa, the struggle to obtain decent housing plunges millions of families into a vicious circle of poverty. AVN offers a solution to this problem, based on three integrated concepts: A Roof + A Skill + A Market AVN organises the training and support of local Nubian Vault (NV) builders and entrepreneurs to promote this solution on a large-scale, with a view to developing a self-sustaining market in NV construction. As a result, families can acquire affordable, sustainable, and decent housing, at the same time improving their economic cond...
Aug 26, 2014

AVN opens superb new office in Senegal

AVN
AVN's new office in Thies

On May 24, 2014, AVN inaugurated its permanent office in Senegal, built by NV masons from Burkina Faso and Senegal. So the AVN-Senegal team, created in 2013, now has a permanent office and show-house, open to the public, to be used as a base for promoting the NV concept throughout the country - in particular in the regions of  Saint-Louis and Thiès where AVN is already active, and, soon,  in the regions of Diourbel, Fatick and Tambacounda.

The first AVN office built in an urban context

This is the very first time that a team of NV masons has built an AVN regional office in a town centre. It is a two storey building, with a roof terrace, sanitation, and external staircase. The external walls and roof are rainproof, using a technique developed by AVN, using pebbles embedded in the bricks' surface, thus allowing for waterproof cement rendering to be successfully applied. The building is a showcase for the successful use of the NV technique for modern urban housing.

Many local stake-holders attended the inauguration ceremony 

The inauguration ceremony (see the photos) aroused a great deal of interest from NV clients, partners, local builders, and many people from the town, impressed not only by the thermal, acoustic, and aesthetic features of the building, but also by the fact that a basically mud-brick house can be made weatherproof, and include modern features and fittings.  

Khady Ly & Ndiamé Fall, extension agents with AVN-Senegal said :

" People who had never seen a NV building were much impressed by the concept. Some of our friends had made fun of us when we told them that we had joined AVN, but on the inauguration day they were overwhelmed by the quailty and style of the building, and at last understood our enthusiasm for the technique. " 

Comments from visitors: 

"No need to talk about what we saw that day - the building speaks for itself: you see it, and you want a house like that for yourself."

"It's lovely and cool inside the building - no need for aircon or fans. We were really surprised by the technique !"

New partnerships

During the inauguration, two new partnership agreements were signed with:

- the Belgian NGO Aide au Développement Gembloux (ADG), active in Tambacounda and Thiès,

- the Association Jaambar, a farming organisation in the region of Diourbel, near Thiès.

Building on these new and existing partnerships, the scene is now set for a rapid and successful extension of the AVN Program in Senegal, not only in rural areas, but also, eventually, in the overcrowded urban slums of many of Senegal's towns.

Any help you can provide, as always, is much appreciated.

 

Magnificent baobab tree close by...
Magnificent baobab tree close by...
Guests at the inauguration ceremony
Guests at the inauguration ceremony
Catering for the inauguration...
Catering for the inauguration...
Fanny Dupuis, AVN & President Association Jaambar
Fanny Dupuis, AVN & President Association Jaambar
Mud brick with embedded pebbles (lower left)
Mud brick with embedded pebbles (lower left)

Links:

Jul 7, 2014

The Dendjola Success Story

Mamarila mosque and villagers, Dendjola zone
Mamarila mosque and villagers, Dendjola zone

A key element in AVN's aim to create a sustainable market in NV construction for the benefit of the trained NV masons and their rural clients is the DPPV strategy – the Deployment of the Program from a Pilot Village. Over a period of 4-5 years, the DPPV strategy should result in the emergence of an autonomous, self-sustaining market for NV hosuing, and AVN support can be transferred to new zones.

We now have confirmation that the DPPV strategy really works! The maps in the attached PDF file show graphically, from 2008 to 2015, the growth of the NV program in an area of 50 km2 around the village of Dendjola. During this 5 year period, from a starting point of zero, 24 independent NV mason entrepreneurs have been trained, and over 70 NV buildings constructed, ranging from small single-vault houses to larger buildings such as mosques and community centers. AVN has now withdrawn support from this zone, as a self-sustaining market in NV housing has developed. The extension agents can now concentrate on opening new zones, with the help of some of the master masons trained in Dendjola, who, in their turn, will recruit and train new apprentices elsewhere.

Overall, the growth rate of the AVN program in Mali has been 20% this season, with 83 NV buildings completed, and 3 under construction. There are now 11 AVN local staff – mainly extension agents promoting the NV concept in new areas - in Mali, in Segou and the two regional centers, Koutiala and Dioilia; plans are afoot to open three more regional centers, the first of which will probably be in San.

Your help – especially the generous donation of £4,000 from Global Giving / Just Giving donors in the UK in 2011 - has played a key role in the Dendjola success story and in the growth of our national program: once more, many thanks from our team in Mali for your ontinuing generosity....

Links:


Attachments:
May 21, 2014

Results of the 2013/2014 Season

NV Catholic church, Petit-Bale, Burkina Faso
NV Catholic church, Petit-Bale, Burkina Faso

The NV program in Burkina Faso is growing very successfully – in fact, during the last construction season, the growth rate, in terms of numbers of NV buildings constructed, has been 13% over target: 100 NV buildings completed, with a further 45 under construction. The completed buildings include 35 NV houses for homeless families who were victims of flooding in the Nebba region (financed by the Selavip Foundation), and 3 onion storage barns. Progress has also been made with identifying sources of micro-fiance for impoverished familes, with 12 contracts having been conluded, for 6 completed houses, and 6 more under construction. Much of this progress can be attributed to the fact that AVN now has 21 local staff working to promote the program, with 4 regional offices in the country in addition to the HQ in Boromo. An interesting and encouraging recent development has been that conventional masons, used to building houses with concrete blocks and corrugated iron roofs, have asked to be trained in the NV technique, and have now incorporated the concept into their ongoing work.

In Mali, the program's growth rate has been 20% this season, with 83 NV buildings completed, and 3 under construction. There are now 11 AVN local staff in Mali, in Segou and the two regional centers, Koutiala and Dioilia; plans are afoot to open three more regional centers, the first of which will probably be in San.

In Senegal, the latest development is the construction of the very first NV motorway rest area , including a mosque, on a new section of motorway outside Dakar – built by a team of NV masons from Burkina Faso, who are at the same time training local Senegalese apprentices on-site. This has been a joint neterprise between AVN and Eiffage-Senegal (Eiffage is the present-day incarnation of the company that built the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty!).

After 14 years, the AVN Program is now having a significant impact on housing in the Sahel, with many new partners and sponsors being signed up, and with plans to extend our work to two more countries - Benin and Ghana - next season. As always, we welcome your support to help in the opening of our prgram in these two new countries.  

 

 

 

NV masons testing a vault by jumping!
NV masons testing a vault by jumping!
AVN regional team, Burkina Faso
AVN regional team, Burkina Faso

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