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...
Nov 14, 2012

More about the 2011-12 season

Vsiting the AVN offices in Segou
Vsiting the AVN offices in Segou

The results of the 2011-12 construction season are good:

  • 16 new NV masons have been trained, bringing the total number of Malian NV masons to 51

  • 600 linear metres* of new vaults were built, for 42 rural / village clients, bringing the total since the start of AVN's work in Mali to 3.1 km of vaults if laid end-to-end!

  • these figures represent an annual growth rate of 23% in vaults built (this rate would have been higher were it not for the current political troubles in the country, which have meant that no further work could be done by NV masons in the Gao region, for example)

  • NV buildings now exist in 94 different localities (villages, hamlets, semi-urban areas) in Mali; 1n 2011-12, 66 localities were reached, so this represents a major geographic expansion during the last year.

* For record-keeping purposes, we now use a linear metre of vault as our standard unit of measure, as vaults can vary in length, and a house or other building can be composed of anything from 1 to 4 or 5 vaults: in village communities, in this case, 600 metres is the equivalent of around 40 two-vault houses or other buildings such as mosques or community centers.

The 2012-13 season has got off to a good start with a recent workshop in our new headquarters in Segou, for familiarising local 'champions' with the AVN strategy (see photos): these are people who are respected and influential in their communities. Back in their villages, they are now helping promote the benefits of NV housing amongst their local communities.

As always, we are grateful for any support you are able to provide to help in the continuing expansion of the AVN Program in Mali, bringing decent and affordable housing to the poorest villages, and training and work for the steadily increasing number of NV masons.

Village
Village 'champions' workshop, Segou

Links:

Aug 30, 2012

POSTCARD: Project Site Visit

Completed AVN home.
Completed AVN home.

Shonali Banerjee and Aliza Appelbaum are In-The-Field Representatives for GlobalGiving.  They are visiting projects in Morocco, Spain and France.  Here is their most recent "postcard" from France: 

On Thursday, August 16, 2012, Aliza and I had the great pleasure of meeting with Baptise Cammareri, newly appointed Community Manager for Association La Voute Nubienne (AVN) in Paris.  The AVN projects are located in the Sahel region of Africa, but the organization is based in France, so we were thrilled to meet with Baptiste to discuss the projects and AVN's unique approach to ameliorating the housing situation in western Africa.  

After speaking with Baptiste for just a few minutes, Aliza and I were both very impressed with the AVN approach- they do not simply raise money to build the vaulted homes, nor do they send in staff from abroad to build the homes.  They help the African builders living in rural communities teach other local builders the necessary techniques to build the vaulted homes.  We really enjoyed hearing about this "help others help themselves" type of approach that has been used so successfully all around the world. 

Baptiste also mentioned that in addition to the Burkina Faso-based projects, AVN now also has expanded into Mali and Senegal.  We were thrilled to hear that the AVN method has been gaining popularity in the region, allowing for the organization to expand into other countries.  Baptiste also mentioned the difficulties of running a project like this.  He explained that implementing change in these rural, traditional African communities can be very difficult.  But its for this reason that the AVN method is so effective since they use local builders to train other builders, rather than using foreigners to go in to change centuries-old traditions. 

Aliza and I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting with Baptiste and wished that we could fly down to Burkina Faso to see the AVN method in action.  However, we felt assured that the AVN team is doing everything in their power to create environmentally sustainable homes for the Sahel populations while helping traditional African builders teach the AVN techniques to their local communities.  We look forward to seeing more projects form AVN in the near future! 


New AVN home in use!
New AVN home in use!
Aug 21, 2012

Photos from the 2011/12 Construction Season

NV Literacy Centre, Kodeni village, Burkina Faso
NV Literacy Centre, Kodeni village, Burkina Faso

2011/ 12 Construction Season

Masons trained through AVN's program - a program financed in part by your donations, along with other sources - continue to build more and more NV houses, schools, churches, and mosques, in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal. Photos of some examples of recent constructions are included with this report.

AVN at World Economic Forum Meetings in Ethiopia and China

Thomas Granier and Seri Youlou, co-founders of AVN, were selected by the Schwab Foundation to receive the prize of « African Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2012», at the World Economic Forum for Africa, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 9-11. Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has been identifying the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in over 40 countries around the globe. Social entrepreneurs implement innovative and pragmatic solutions to social problems by tackling the root causes and creating social transformation. As a result of this meeting, Thomas Granier has also been invited to the upcoming meeting of the World Economic Forum in China next month, and will use this as an opportunity to network with Chinese entrepreneurs working in Africa, to convince them to integrate AVN's strategy into their construction projects.

Both these meetings provide amazing opportunities to meet global leaders and media organizations from many sectors concerning African development, and to present AVN as an excellent case of a low-carbon development project to provide housing and empower local communities;

AVN support from French Government Agency

AVN has recently signed a co-financing agreement with the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and from the French Fund for World Environment (FFEM), with a budget that could go up to 3.5 million euros over the next four years. However, this depends on us finding matching funds of two-thirds of this budget. We need all the help we can get to raise these matching funds, which would enable us to achieve a significant scaling up of our program in West Africa, for the direct benefit of impoverished rural communities.

Many thanks once again for your continuing interest in, and support of, our work.

 

NV Promotional meeting, Burkina Faso
NV Promotional meeting, Burkina Faso
VN village mosque & community center, Mali
VN village mosque & community center, Mali
NV house, Bambrigouani, Burkina Faso
NV house, Bambrigouani, Burkina Faso
Family in Dendjola, Mali, and their NV house
Family in Dendjola, Mali, and their NV house
Granier with Presidents of Nigeria & Gabon at WEF
Granier with Presidents of Nigeria & Gabon at WEF
AVN team, Boromo, Burkina Faso
AVN team, Boromo, Burkina Faso

Links:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $15
  • $50
  • $100
  • $200
  • $500
  • $1,000
  • $2,000
  • $10,000
  • $15
    each month
  • $50
    each month
  • $100
    each month
  • $200
    each month
  • $500
    each month
  • $1,000
    each month
  • $2,000
    each month
  • $10,000
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?