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 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:

Aug 14, 2012

Results of the 2011-12 season

VN Masons Congess, Segou, June 2012
VN Masons Congess, Segou, June 2012

The serious problems of insurrection and Islamist militancy affecting the north of Mali has regrettably led to the interruption of our joint pilot village project with the NGO UAVES in Tacharane. However, the main thrust of the AVN program is in the south of the country, and is carrying on regardless.

Our national office in Segou is now established, and the foundations are being laid for regional annexes in Koutiala and Dioila, each about 150 km distant, forming a regional triangle within which our efforts can be focused.

The 2011/12 construction season was 'topped and tailed' by two very successful congresses of NV masons and lcoal village 'champions', held in our HQ in Segou, respectively in October and June.

The overall results for the 2011/12 season are as follows:

  • growth rate of the program this season in terms of linear metres of vaults built: 23%

  • number of clients for whom NV constructions were built : 42

  • 16 new NV masons trained

  • 100% focus on rural, village, communities

If all the VN buildings constructed since the start of our program in Mali were put end-to-end, they would cover a distance of 3.1 km!

Attached are some photos of NV masons and examples of their work this last season.

Many thanks once again for you support for our work in Mali

VN cotton store, N
VN cotton store, N'gola
VN Masons Congess, Segou, June 2012
VN Masons Congess, Segou, June 2012
VN masons from Dendjola
VN masons from Dendjola
Family in Dendjola in front of their NV house
Family in Dendjola in front of their NV house

Links:

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