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.
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
President, Association la Voutge Nubienne
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.
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.
The third season of construction in our Pilot Village Deployment Program (PVDP) around Dendjola is just coming to an end, with excellent results:
- 9 buildings completed, composed in total of 19 vaults (thus, an average of 2 vaults per building),
- a total length of vaults, if put end-to-end, of 111 meters
- 5 new apprentices in training.
The driving forces behind this progress have been the local 'champion' Siaka Djiré, who has also played a major role in spreading the word about the AVN program to neighboring villages, and the NV master-mason Ibrahim Mien, who has himself supervised all 9 building sites and acted as the main channel of communication with the clients. Another important factor in the growth of the program has been the catalytic effect of building village mosques using the NV technique: everyone helps in providing manual labor for these community buildings, and they act as powerful demonstration sites for the quality and durability of the NV technique, prompting villagers to ask for houses to be built in the same way.
The three photos show examples of the constructions from this 2010/11 season.
Financial support for part of this season's program has come from the Dutch Triodos Foundation, and from the BICIM Bank in Mali (part of the BNP Paribas Group), but AVN is still looking for funding for the fourth year of the Dendjola PVDP, and for extension of the Program in Mali to neighboring regions. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated...
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