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...
Feb 26, 2013

Despite hard times, our program continues to grow

Inrterior, AARAO building, Kewoloya
Inrterior, AARAO building, Kewoloya

The mid-season results for our program in Mali are good, in part helped by the generous anonymous donations (over £4,000 in total) that came from supporters in the UK via a partnership between Global Giving UK, and JustGiving: a big THANK YOU to you all!

This funding has helped to develop our program in Mali despite the difficult times of the last few months, with the insurgency in the north of the country, the arrival of troops from France and neighbouring countries, and the accompanying uncertainties which have led to the temporary suspension of the activities of many foreign NGO's. However, despite these problems, AVN-Mali is developing partnership arrangements with two major NGO's : ADER, a regional economic development organisation promoting decent, sustainable, housing (see link below to their website), and AARAO. The attached photos show a building financed by AARAO for literacy classes in the village of Kewoloya, in the west of mali, near Kayes. The attractive internal rendering and finshes are shown being carried out by a group of women from the village.

Our work with rural communities in the south of Mali has not been affected by the Islamist insurgency in the north; the rains were good this season, leading to a good harvest, and some disposable income for rural families. 22 new NV buildings are either completed or under construction at the moment (mid-February): 17 houses, 3 barns, 1 shop, and 1 school classroom. Further good news is that only one of these buildings is for a client found by AVN – the rest are a result, either of direct contacts between NV masons and clients, or found through the intermediary of local 'champions' (village elders, Imams etc).

In total, there are now 44 active masons in Mali trained through our program, and 96 apprentices in training on NV building sites. The support we have recently received via Global Giving / JustGiving in the UK has enabled us to recruit a local finance / admin officer to our team in Segou, and to start a search for a second regional office to expand our program to other parts of the country.

Please continue to support our work in this, one of the poorest countries in Africa, going through especially difficult times at the moment...


With many thanks from our team in Segou, Mali (see link below)

Interior, AARAO building (2)
Interior, AARAO building (2)
Rendering interior walls and vault
Rendering interior walls and vault
Exterior of AARAO building
Exterior of AARAO building

Links:

Feb 20, 2013

First AVN workshop for Women

Participants at the AVN Womens
Participants at the AVN Womens' Workshop

On Feb 13th and 14th, the first workshop for Burkinabé women involved in the AVN program was held in Boromo. The participants came from 6 different regions of Burkina Faso, and included wives of VN masons, local 'champions' of the program, and future extension agents and 'ambassadors'.

This workshop, the first one aimed specifically at women, was part of the series of training and familiarisation workshops launched in Autumn 2012 under the auspices of the AVN Academy - set up for the continuing suppport and training of NV masons, entrepreneurs, and supporters and their families.  The workshop, run by women members of the AVN team in Boromo, was conducted in several local languages, and covered promotional techniques and issues, styles of VN houses, and sharing of experiences and ideas.

This first workshop marks a turning point in the evolution of the AVN Program, creating a direct engagement on the part of groups of mothers, wives, and daughters in the country in the active promotion of decent housing for their families.

Links:

Nov 16, 2012

Results of the 2011/12 season

Ouily & Diallo with table of cumulative impacts
Ouily & Diallo with table of cumulative impacts

 

Summary of Overall Results & Impacts

 The 2011/12 construction season has shown a steady growth in the results and impacts of our Program in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania);

  • 2,400 linear metres of vaults built, for 174 new clients

  • 82% of NV projects were for housing (142 out of a total of 174)

  • 62 new localities (villages, hamlets, suburbs...) reached

  • an annual increase of 34% in the number of vaults built

  • 47 new NV masons trained, bringing the cumulative total to 261

  • 91% of new NV construction being in the rural and semi-urban sectors

  • 35% of constructions resulting from direct contact between individual clients and NV masons, without any intervention from AVN – proof of a growing self-sustaining and autonomous market in NV housing.

In total, some 12,000 people now live in and/or use NV buildings, and we estimate that the Program has generated overall economic impacts of approximately 1.2 Million euros (= 1.53 million US$), whilst making carbon savings of approximately 3,200 tonnes of CO2-equivalent, as compared to the alternative traditional or modern construction techniques.

Most of the demand this last season for NV construction has been in Burkina Faso (62%), followed by Mali (25%), and then other West African countries, mainly Senegal (13%). The AVN teams in Burkina Faso and Mali are now headed up by nationals : Boubacar Ouily and Ismaila Diallo, respectively national coordinators for Burkina Faso and Mali.

Mauritania

 A second NV house was built last season in Mauritania (see photo); this beautiful house in the Guidimaka region (Arabic: ), was built by Moussa Kanoute, the first Mauritanian NV apprenticee. It is an imaginative adaptation of the NV technique to local vernacular traditions. Moussa built the house for his family, in their village of Ouloumboni, after only three months training with NV masons from Burkina Faso! For the time being he will be working on NV construction sites in Senegal, before returning to Mauritania as an NV mason.

Any support that you can provide to help us develop an AVN Program in Mauritania, one of the poorest countries in Africa, will be much appreciated....



 

NV house in Mauritania built by Moussa Kanoute
NV house in Mauritania built by Moussa Kanoute

Links:


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