2008 marks the tenth anniversary of our first attempt to construct a prototype VN building in Burkina Faso. Ten years on, the AVN 'Earth roofs in the Sahel' Program continues to go from strength to strength.
A third Congress of VN masons was held in Boromo, Burkina Faso last month (June); this three-day meeting was a chance to share experiences amongst the community of VN builders, to summarise progress made since the start of the Program, and to update our cumulative results. In brief, to date:
- 110 VN masons have been trained, most of whom are setting themselves up as independent entrepreneurs,
- 170 apprentices are undergoing training,
- 3000 man-months of salaries have been generated,
- we estimate around 4,500 direct beneficiaries of the Program,
- 550 vaults have been built, representing a 70% year on year increase in the number of constructions
- the expansion of the Program to neighbouring countries (Mali, Togo, Senegal, Guinea, and Ivory Coast) continues.
The Program is also making its own small, but locally significant, contribution to reduction of carbon emissions: we
estimate that use of earth bricks and earth mortar (instead of cement, and metal roofing sheets) has economised the equivalent of 72 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the last ten years.
Our first major school-building project in Mali (region of Kati), in collaboration with the architect Emilio Caravatti and the NGO Africabougou, has now been completed, and you can see three photos of this beautiful building below. This will likely become a model for a major VN school-building program.
Your contributions can help scale up this exciting program through acceleration of our apprentice training schemes, the underwriting of new partnerships with NGO's working in the Sahel, and the opening up of new action zones in the six
countries where we now operate. Our pledge is that, in the next two decades, a flourishing self-sustaining market in
sustainable, ecologically sound, healthy, earth vaulted homes will have developed with your help. And that, as a result, fewer poor families in the Sahel will have to resort to the expense and discomfort of living in unhealthy tin-roofed shacks.
Please visit our website to find out more, to sign up to our Newsletter, and to see the latest photos and slide-shows of the houses, schools, churches, and health centers that your contributions can help to build.
Our 'Earth roofs in the Sahel' program continues its near exponential annual growth. Since the start of the program eight years ago, over 330 vaults have been built in 70 villages and districts in the Sahel. These are mainly two-vault village houses, but also larger community-use buildings, including a church and a mosque. 60 VN builders have been trained, many setting themselves up as independent entrepreneurs, and 100 apprentices are now involved in this winter's building season.
A three-day congress of VN builders was held in Boromo, Burkina Faso, Oct 26-30, which brought together all the VN builders in the country, as well as many apprentices. Plans were laid for construction and training during the 2007/08 season (building is carried out during the winter dry season between November and May), and experience and contacts were exchanged. During this season, some 200 new vaults will be built, and at least a further 40 VN builders will complete training, bringing the total up to 100. The program's expansion outside Burkina Faso continues. In neighboring Mali, 10 new building sites have been opened, 25 apprentices are being trained, and we hope to have 10 new VN builders there by the end of the season. And new building projects are starting up in Ivory Coast, Guinée, and Senegal.
Formal partnership agreements have been established with several NGO's operating in the Sahel, such as Africabougou-Italy and Intervida-Spain, who have been working with us in the construction of community use buildings (schools, health centers, literacy centers) in Mali and Burkina Faso.
Our builders are now contributing to new technical developments, including the construction of two-storey houses, and a technique combining the use of reinforced concrete pillars and beams with earth brick VN vaults, to create large open spaces for buildings such as churches and schools.
We need your contributions now to help scale up this exciting program through acceleration of our apprentice raining schemes, the underwriting of new partnerships with NGO's working in the Sahel, and the opening up of new action zones in the four countries where we now operate. Our pledge is that, in the next two decades, a flourishing self-sustaining market in sustainable, ecologically sound, healthy, earth vaulted homes will have developed with your help. And that, as a result, fewer and fewer poor families in the Sahel will have to resort to the expense and discomfort of living in unhealthy tin-roofed shacks.
Please visit our website at www.lavoutenubienne.org to find out more, and to see the latest photos and slide-shows of the houses, schools, churches, and health centers that your contributions can help to build.
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