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 22, 2011

AVN-Mali headquarters opens in Segou

Pelengana Cultural Centre (1)
Pelengana Cultural Centre (1)

The new AVN team in Mali moved into its dedicated office space in the Cultural Centre in Pelengana, Segou, on September 1st. The, very impressive, cultural centre (see photos) was built by a team of VN masons last year, and is well situated close to the Mairie in Pelengana.

The AVN team at present consists of Ismaila Diallo (Assistant Director), Souleymane Koné (Extension Agent), assisted by Francis Tiene, on secondment from the AVN team in Boromo, Burkina Faso., and Mathieu Hardy, architect and acting Director. A second extension agent will be recruited by the end of the year.

The team is now working on the setting up of the second three-year phase of the AVN program in Mali, with a major focus on the region around Segou. This phase kicked off with a very successful congress of the VN masons from Mali, and a meeting of the local 'champions' of the existing pilot village deployment programs, both held in the second fortnight of October in Pelengana.

Pelengana Cultural Centre (2)
Pelengana Cultural Centre (2)
AVN Mali office, Pelengana
AVN Mali office, Pelengana
AVN Mali team
AVN Mali team

Links:

Nov 17, 2011

Results & Impacts of the AVN Program by 2011

In September this year, we had a chance to collate the necessary data to provide a review the impacts of the last ten years' work by AVN and its network of masons; the results are very encouraging:

- Since the start of the program, 1309 vaults have been built by Nubian vault (NV) masons and entrepreneurs, for 533 clients, in 244 locations (villages, hamlets, towns) in 3 countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal)
- If all the vaults built were to be placed end-to-end, this would reach a total length of 9.7 km (Note: a standard vault, our unit of measurement, has internal dimensions of 7M long X 3,25 M wide)
- In total, 214 NV masons have been trained, of whom half are at the foreman and/or entrepreneur level; and there are currently 296 apprentices in training
- 10,000 people use, live in, or sleep in NV buildings; of the total built, 85% are for private houses, and 15% are community-use buildings.
- Approximately 18,000 trees, 25,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent, and approximately 15,000 corrugated iron roofing sheets have been saved as a result of NV construction, as compared to the alternatives
- Approximately 750,000 Euros of local economic impacts have been generated by the program
- Since 2000 the program has experienced an average annual growth rate of 36%.

One of the most encouraging findings is that over one-third of the NV construction market is now completely autonomous and self-sustaining: 37% of NV clients are found directly by NV builders / entrepreneurs. Of the remainder, 40% come via a local intermediary or ’champion’, and only 23% via AVN itself. So, in the regions where AVN is active, we are well on the way to a growing and independent market in NV construction, permitting us - with your help -  to soon move on and target our resources in new regions.

The attached PDF file contains slides and images highlighting the above findings - feel free to download this and use to help explain to your friends and colleagues the impacts of our work.

PS Some other news - at the last meeting of the General Asembly of AVN, held in Septamber, I was elected President of the Association, with David Sillou, our IT specialist and strategy expert, as Vice-President.

Links:


Attachments:
Sep 1, 2011

Results of the 2010/11 construction season

VN hen-house , Dendjola village
VN hen-house , Dendjola village

The first phase (Sept 2008 - August 2011) of the unrolling of AVN’s Program in Mali, has now ended. It is the first regional program of its kind to be implemented outside Burkina Faso, and has included:
- a pilot test of the AVN pump-priming strategy (the Dendjola Pilot Village Deployment Program), helping to define local expectations and potential
- the setting up of AVN-Mali and the recruitment and training of an initial local management team
- the training of the first generation of NV masons in Mali (35 so far)
- the construction of 110 NV buildings (= 325 vaults, totaling 2,500 linear meters)
- the setting up of the first AVN ’franchise’ operation in Mali, with the NGO Terre et humanisme in Tacharane.

The full Annual Report from AVN-Mali (2010-11) is attached to this report. It is in French, but contains many photos.

The photo says it all ...  the children of Siaka Djiré (’champion’ of the Dendjola Program) have built an amazing Nubian Vault chicken-house entirely of their own accord (see photo). They must have spend a lot of time observing the AVN masons at work in the village, and decided to go ahead with a project of their own. What greater proof could there be that the NV technique has been incorporated into the local culture? And maybe these kids will form the next generation of NV masons in a few years’ time?

The second phase of the AVN-Mali Program will start in September 2011, and will involve the opening of new franchises, the development of the regional market in NV housing, and the evaluation of the final two years of the Dendjola Program.

Please help with your donations to ensure the ongoing success of the program.

Links:


Attachments:

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