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 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:

May 13, 2013

Mid-season results / Disaster relief project / UN Habitat Dubai Award

New AVN office in Dedougou
New AVN office in Dedougou

Mid-season results

Half-way through the 2012/13 season (at the end of March) , the latest results showed consistent progress in the growth of AVN's Program in West Africa.

Since the start of the 2012/13 season, the following, very encouraging, results have been achieved:
-  new regions of activity, each with their own AVN team, have been created - two in Mali, and three in Burkina Faso (see photos of the new AVN office buildings in Dedougou and Yaco, Burkiona Faso);
- 10 more local staff have been recruited, including 5 dissemination agents, and 3 regional production managers;
- the first AVN Congress in Senegal has taken place, bringing together NV masons and 'champions' and supporters in the country;
- at the end of 2012, 219 NV masons and others involved in the Program took part in technical and management training workshops under the auspices of the Académie Nubienne ;
- 151 vaults were built, for the benefit of 928 people;
- 34% of NV buildings were a result of direct contacts between clients and independent NV masons / entrpreneurs - gradually, a self-sustaining market in NV housing is developing.

We are particularly proud to see the opening of four new regions of activity, and the success of the first results of the Académie nubienne training workshops.

AVN's First Disaster relief project

NV houses are being built for 27 families who lost their homes after a dam burst in the Nebba region of Burkina Faso in 2010. The project is financed by the  SELAVIP Foundation, and implemented by the local Tinyenga Niyemba Burkina (TNB) Association, in partnership with AVN. The first three of the 27 houses houses are already under construction, in the villages of Onguro and Diakongoudjo (see photo).

AVN's role in the project consists of identifying teams of independent NV masons, supporting the recruitment and training of local apprentices, and helping promote a self-sustaining market for NV housing in the region.

SELAVIP is a private foundation that supports housing projects for very poor families, with a focus on “extreme social emergency”. By choosing the Nubian Vault concept for this project, SELAVIP is enabling the families concerned to acquire decent and permanent housing, as well as the skills needed to contribute to further re-construction in their region in the future.

UN Habitat - Dubai International Award for AVN

Thomas Granier (AVN CEO) and Mathieu Hardy (AVN-Mali) went to Dubai in March to receive a UN-Habitat / Dubai International Award for best practice to improve the living environment. The Award, co- sponsored by UN-Habitat, specifically recognises our program in Burkina Faso for 'best practice transfer'. At the same time they met potential partners, investors, and sponsors for our work with Muslim communities in West Africa.

Meeting with Dedougou district chief and AVN staff
Meeting with Dedougou district chief and AVN staff
New AVN office in Yaco, Burkina Faso
New AVN office in Yaco, Burkina Faso
Mayor launches AVN construction site, Nebba
Mayor launches AVN construction site, Nebba

Links:

May 13, 2013

70% Annual Growth / NV entrepreneur success story

NV lounge
NV lounge

70% Increase in NV construction since last year

Despite the 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, the AVN program in Mali is forging ahead.

Results this year have exceeded our expectations, with 58 NV construction projects completed so far, 12 under completion, and 4 more in the pipeline - the great majority of these projects being for housing and community facilities for rural families. This represents a 70% increase over the results of the 2011/12 construction season.

For the 2013/14 season, discussions are underway for NV masons and entrepreneurs to be involved in re-construction of some of the communal bulidings damaged or destroyed during the fighting in the north of the country.

NV Entrepreneur contracted to build tourist accommodation

One of the aims of the AVN program is to encourage a market in NV construction  and paid work for trained NV masons and entreperneurs. Although the main focus is on housing for rural communities, some NV mason - entrpreneurs are branching out successfuly into other markets. Here is one example...

In the countryside a few km from Bamako, the resort Le Campement - popular with families from Bamako at weekends, and with foreign tourists - has just added a set of four NV suites to its range of accommodation options. The building containing the four suites, each with its own lounge, bedroom, bathroom, and private terrace, was built by masons trained through the AVN program in Mali – proof of the entrepreneurship of these men, as well as the fact that the mud brick NV concept is easily adaptable to the requirements of modern tourism.

The Campement is near Kangaba village, and as well as accommodation, promotes local crafts and cuisine, and includes a 20-hectare park, with camping space and facilities for swimming and other sports. The NV rooms are a welcome addition to the range of accommodation on offer, and a tribute to the skill of the NV masons who built them. Because it is a popular weekend resort for families escaping the traffic and bustle of Bamako at weekends, these NV rooms will help promote the NV concept locally, and encourage the further development of the market in NV construction.

Should you have the good fortune to visit Mali and its capital, Bamako, why not stay a few nights at Le Campement, and experience for yourself the comfort and coolness of a Nubian Vault building !

 

Bedroom
Bedroom
Bathroom
Bathroom

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