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...
Sep 9, 2013

Results of the 2012/13 season

NV Masons
NV Masons' congress June 2012

AVN-Mali: a successful season

Despite all that has happened in Mali during the last year (the insurgency in the North, the military coup, the refugee crisis, the arrival of troops from France and neighbouring countries, the very recent presidential election...) AVN's program has not noticeably suffered.

 The final results of the 2012/13 season, announced at the NV masons' congress in June, are very positive:

  • two new regional centres opened, in Koutiala and Dioila, with local staff promoting the NV concept, and helping to recruit apprentices and support newly trained masons in the surrounding villages,

  • new training modules have been prepared, and successful training workshops run for selected NV masons and apprentices,

  • eight new NV masons have completed their training, bringing the total number of NV masons in the country to 59,

  • these masons and their teams have built 101 vaults during the season, for 72 different buildings; most of these (56) are village houses, the remainder include shops (2), barns (3), village classrooms (3), and mosques (2).

 The success of AVN's work in Mali during the last year has been in significant measure due to the generous donations, totalling £3,996 ($6,240) received in November 2012, and made by people in the UK via Global Giving and JustGiving. These funds have been invaluable in helping to fund the establishment of the two new regional centers and the running of training workshops. Once again, many thanks to these generous, anonymous, donors, who have understood the pressing need for decent housing and economic development in Mali, as the country tries to recover from the events of the last 18 months.  

Map showing new regional centers
Map showing new regional centers
Village house in Dandougou, Dioila region
Village house in Dandougou, Dioila region
Village house in Segou region
Village house in Segou region
Village classroom, Dankoumala, Segou region
Village classroom, Dankoumala, Segou region
Bagnan mosque, Koutiala region
Bagnan mosque, Koutiala region

Links:

Aug 26, 2013

Forthcoming opening of AVN's program in Ghana and Benin

After the successful opening of AVN-Senegal, we are glad to announce you that we are ready for a new scaling up of our program. 

Awareness on qualities of Nubian Vault buildings is spreading: more and more people want NV for their houses, schools, health centers, barns... Also, the effectiveness of AVN's pump-priming market method is increasingly recognized by NGOs, private enterprises and institutions, asking us for partnerships in order to diffuse NV technique in their areas of interest.

The next step we have scheduled is the opening of AVN dissemination program in the first regions of two new countries: Benin, Atacora-Donga region, and Ghana, Upper-East region.

Our teams have already made explorative missions in order to assess the need for Nubian Vaults and the existence of the conditions required to the development of the program in those areas, finding positive answers. The regions, in both cases among the poorest of their countries, have the same climatic and economic conditions, and face the same housing challenges, of the regions where AVN already works successfully. Local people showed enthusiasm in welcoming AVN, and a number of interested clients have already been contacted. Potential partnerships and collaborations are on discussion with private enterprises, NGOs, local authorities, and national institutions. 

For each country, 4 years of project will lead to: 130 NV built on 23 locations, 66 local people involved (masons, employees, key-persons), 260 tons of CO2 economized, 520 trees saved, 1,000 total beneficiaries. Most interestingly, these benefits are not limited to the years of deployment of program: the triggering of a virtuous circle will allow these figures to persist and increase in the following years. We have ambitious goals, but we can achieve them by relying on our experience and our strong motivation. 

What we need, now more than ever, is your support. The opportunity for Ghanaian and Beninois communities to enjoy the benefits that people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal have already enjoyed depends on the generosity of our community of supporters. Thank you for what you have done so far and for carrying on to give us your precious support. 


Links:

Aug 6, 2013

AVN now established in Senegal

Khady Ly, Ndiame Fall & Fanny Dupuis
Khady Ly, Ndiame Fall & Fanny Dupuis

A permanent AVN team now established

Following the successful completion of a technical training center by NV masons in the region of Matam, a permanent AVN team has now been established in Senegal: in April, Khady Ly, Fanny Dupuis and Ndiame Fall set up office in the town of Thiès. Khady Ly, from Thiès, has been involved as a part-time 'ambassador' for AVN in Senegal for several years, and was joined in November 2012 by Fanny Dupuis, an urbanist, as national coordinator.  Ndiame Fall joined the team in May 2013 as an extension agent and assistant to Fanny Dupuis.

They will be working with our partner Le Partenariat ( PSLR )on our program in the north of the country (Saint Louis, Podor), will start an urban program in Thiès itself, and in 2014, a regional office is planned for Tambacounda - all part of an overall strategy to lay the foundations for a self-sustaining market in NV housing in Senegal.

A promising start

To date, there are two main poles of activity for AVN in Senegal:

  • in the region of Podor, a literacy center has been built in the village of Thialma, and a mosque in the village of Guege Wourou, by NV masons from Burkina and their Senegalese apprentices; both projects were part financed by Eiffage -Senegal (the French construction company Eiffage, previously known as Eiffel, after its founder, is famous historically for building the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty...).

  • In the region of Thies, pilot projects on construction of NV buildings in an urban environment have been launched, with several houses now completed, including a two-storey one. Tests are underway of the use of mud bricks incorporating pebbles on the external surface, to which a waterproof and maintenance-free cement render can then be applied.

The setting up of a third national team in West Africa (after Burkina Faso and Mali), marks an important turning point in the growth of AVN's program in the Sahel.

As always, your contributions towards the costs of recruitment and training of Senegalese apprentices and masons will provide invaluable support for the scaling up of our work in Senegal, providing employment and better housing and community facilities for the families in our target groups.

 

Inauguaration of the literacy center, Thialma
Inauguaration of the literacy center, Thialma
Construction of literacy center
Construction of literacy center
Completed literacy center
Completed literacy center
Mosque, Guege Wourou
Mosque, Guege Wourou
2 storey house in construction, Thies
2 storey house in construction, Thies
2 vault house in construction, Thies
2 vault house in construction, Thies
NV house with pebbles incorporated in bricks
NV house with pebbles incorporated in bricks

Links:

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