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...
May 15, 2012

Major international recognition for AVN Program & Updates from the field

AVN promotional meeting , Deguele village, Burkina
AVN promotional meeting , Deguele village, Burkina

International recognition

AVN's model of social entrepreneurship has recently been recognised by three major organisations:

- AVN is one of 18 semi-finalists (out of 122 submissions) for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2012; the review team who chose AVN as a semi-finalist said that they were : "... very impressed with the success this project has had creating large-scale, attractive, affordable, culturally and socially appropriate housing using only local skills and materials, and engendering a cascade of positive socio-economic and environmental impacts. This model definitely has the potential to be emulated widely in much of Africa and beyond."

- AVN is winner of a SEED Award: the SEED Initiative identifies and supports promising small scale social and environmental entrepreneurs, and provides them with know- how and networks, as an Award winner, AVN benefited from a SEED sponsored workshop in Burkina Faso, and a chance to network with other winners at a meeting in South Africa, in March  

- and, a crowning glory : AVN is winner of the Schwab Foundation 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year' Competition for Africa: Thomas Granier has just returned from the Award Ceremeny, held May 9-11 during the World Economic Forum for Africa in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.


Burkina Faso and Mali results this season

The construction season in the Sahel (the dry season) runs from September/ October to May / June. As of March 2012, the masons trained through our program have built, or are in the process of completing:

- 81 houses, predominantly for rural families  

- 4 community buildings (a church, a mosque, a library, and a health center)  

- 6 small hotel rooms and 1 restaurant

- 2 offices

In Burkina Faso, 42% of the constructions came about as a result of direct contacts between an independent NV builder and the client, without any intervention from AVN. This shows that an autonomous, self-sustaining market in NV construction is developing in the regions where NV masons are active. In Mali, this 'autonomization' is happening more slowly (14%), as our program was only launched there three years ago.


New programs in Senegal and Benin

Thomas Granier, CEO of AVN, was recently in Senegal for the launch of a new program in the region of Saint Louis, with sponsorship and field support from the French- Senegalese NGO Le Partenariat, based in Saint Louis. Two extension agents from Le Partenariat – have now completed their induction and training period with AVN in Burkina Faso, and have started on the launch and 'pump-priming' of the AVN program in the District of Podor (home town of the famous musician Baaba Maal). An agreement is about to be signed with the Eiffage Foundation to provide further financial support for this program.

A pilot village project was opened this season in northern Benin, with the German NGO Dassari Benefiz as a franchised partner, with their local project managers trained by AVN.


Recent Sponsors and Investors in Earth Roofs for the Sahel

Confidence continues to be shown in our work; during the last six months, new financial support and sponsorship has come from:

- the Artelia Foundation, and the Abbé Pierre Foundation for our work in Burkina Faso  

- the Air Liquide Foundation, and the Lemarchand Foundation for our program in Mali  

- the Servir Foundation for a pilot village project in Koubri, Burkina Faso.

 

A VN village classroom, Burkina Faso
A VN village classroom, Burkina Faso
A VN village mosque, Mali
A VN village mosque, Mali

Links:

May 14, 2012

AVN wins major Awards

VN chicken house built by children, Dendjola
VN chicken house built by children, Dendjola

International recognition

AVN's model of social entrepreneurship has recently been recognised by three major organisations:

- AVN is one of 18 semi-finalists (out of 122 submissions) for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2012; the review team who chose AVN as a semi-finalist said that they were : "... very impressed with the success this project has had creating large-scale, attractive, affordable, culturally and socially appropriate housing using only local skills and materials, and engendering a cascade of positive socio-economic and environmental impacts. This model definitely has the potential to be emulated widely in much of Africa and beyond."

- AVN is winner of a SEED Award: the SEED Initiative identifies and supports promising small scale social and environmental entrepreneurs, and provides them with know- how and networks, as an Award winner, AVN benefited from a SEED sponsored workshop in Burkina Faso, and a chance to network with other winners at a meeting in South Africa, in March  

- and, a crowning glory : AVN is winner of the Schwab Foundation 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year' Competition for Africa: Thomas Granier has just returned from the Award Ceremeny, held May 9-11 during the World Economic Forum for Africa in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

 

Support for our program in Mali

The Air Liquide Foundation, and the Lemarchand Foundation, both based in France, have committed support and funding for the developpment of four program in Mali in 2012 / 13.

 

 

 

 


A VN village mosque, Dendjola
A VN village mosque, Dendjola

Links:

Feb 9, 2012

Super video about AVN in Mali; new AVN website

A classroom in Kobe College, near Kati
A classroom in Kobe College, near Kati

Support from French foundations for our Program in Mali

I have a couple of bits of good news about our work in  Mali: the Lemarchand Foundation and  la Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme, have agreed to support our pilot programs in the regions of Segou and Koutiala 

Madame De Oliveira of the Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme has made a superb video about AVN's work, which you can check out via the link below. The sound track of this video is in French, but it's worth watching just to get an idea of the people, the scenery, the context, and the Nubian vault buildings that are pictured.

Examples of NV buildings in Mali

I'm attaching to this report photos of two community buildings constructed by NV masons, two examples of partnerships which are creating opportunities and hope for children in local communities:

- a college in Kobé, financed by the Italian NGO Africabougou, and using the technique of combining NV vaults with reinforced concrete pillars and beams to make large internal spaces

- an orphanage in Gao, a joint project between a local builder with masons trained by AVN, the Swiss NGO Aide a Gao, and the Provictimis Foundation,


New AVN website

We have been working on a complete re-make of our website, and the English version is now ready to be launched. You can see it here: http://new.lavoutenubienne.org/en . It is much more comprehensive than the old version, has more photos, documents, and videos, and is much easier to find your way around...so, please pay us a visit!  Note that the French, Spanish, and Arabic versions are still under development.

Best wishes from all of us at AVN for 2012, and, once again, thank you for your support

Tony Kaye

President, Association la Voutge Nubienne

Gao Orphanage
Gao Orphanage

Links:

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