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 ...
Nov 20, 2014

AVN Diversifies in Senegal

The first baby to be born in the maternity clinic
The first baby to be born in the maternity clinic

The new AVN Program in Senegal is firing on all cylinders!

In addition to the first family houses being built around Thies, where the new AVN Senegal headquarters is based (see my last report), masons trained through AVN have recently completed three important projects:

- a maternity clinic in the village of Nguendar, near Podor, in the north of the country (see the photos, including the one of the first baby to be born in the Clinic),
- a primary school in the neighbouring village of Kodith (photo),
- a prayer room in the first motorway (freeway) service area to be built in Senegal, at Cambarene, near the capital Dakar (photo).

The maternity clinic and school were built through a collaboration with Le Partenariat, a Senegalese / French NGO workingi n the Podor region. The motorway prayer room was part financed by Eiffage Senegal, part of the Eiffage group of construction companies (and a 'descendant' of the original company that built the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York!)

These three buildings, so different in their functions, share features which their users really appreciate, especially the fact that they are nice and cool indoors, and the thick walls deaden any external noise. However, the primary mission of AVN, of course, is to promote a market in affordable and long-lasting Nubian Vault (NV) housing for rural and peri-urban families. But community use buildings such as schools, clinics, churches etc are important because, in addition to their primary use:

- their construction provides opportunities for training of local apprentices, who can progress to become NV masons in their own right
- they are highly visible demonstration buildings for local people, who, having realised how affordable, attractive, and comfortable they are, then contract locally trained NV masons to build family houses.

If you want help us in the challenge of scaling up our Programme in Senegal, any funds you may want to give will be allocated to increasing the recruitment and training of young men as apprentices, and to our work in supporting trained NV masons to become independent entrepreneurs in the country's housing market.

Midwife & nurses with baby
Midwife & nurses with baby
Mother & baby
Mother & baby
Outside Nguendar Clinic
Outside Nguendar Clinic
Kodith village NV primary school
Kodith village NV primary school
Freeway rest area NV prayer room
Freeway rest area NV prayer room

Links:

Nov 6, 2014

Nubian Vault village houses in Mali

House in Ngolofala, front door
House in Ngolofala, front door

Mathieu Hardy, a young architect specialising in earth construction, has been working with AVN from the end of 2008. Much of his time has been spent in Mali, helping kickstart and develop our programme there. Now that AVN-Mali is fully established with a HQ team in Segou, and three regional offices, all staffed by Malians, his role has become that of a part-time adviser to AVN, helping in particular to develop training materials based on our accumulated experience.

You can see here a selection of great photos that Mathieu has taken of three Nubian Vault village houses in Mali. They demonstrate the simplicity and beauty of the NV concept and the creativity of the masons building them - without any help from architects' plans, computers, or fancy surveyors' equipment! It has truly become a popular vernacular style...

House in Ngolofala, interior1
House in Ngolofala, interior1
House in Ngolofala interior2
House in Ngolofala interior2
House in Dioila
House in Dioila
Vault of house in Dioila
Vault of house in Dioila
House in Nitabogoro, Koutiala, exterior
House in Nitabogoro, Koutiala, exterior
House in Nitabogoro, Koutiala, interior1
House in Nitabogoro, Koutiala, interior1

Links:

Aug 26, 2014

AVN opens superb new office in Senegal

AVN
AVN's new office in Thies

On May 24, 2014, AVN inaugurated its permanent office in Senegal, built by NV masons from Burkina Faso and Senegal. So the AVN-Senegal team, created in 2013, now has a permanent office and show-house, open to the public, to be used as a base for promoting the NV concept throughout the country - in particular in the regions of  Saint-Louis and Thiès where AVN is already active, and, soon,  in the regions of Diourbel, Fatick and Tambacounda.

The first AVN office built in an urban context

This is the very first time that a team of NV masons has built an AVN regional office in a town centre. It is a two storey building, with a roof terrace, sanitation, and external staircase. The external walls and roof are rainproof, using a technique developed by AVN, using pebbles embedded in the bricks' surface, thus allowing for waterproof cement rendering to be successfully applied. The building is a showcase for the successful use of the NV technique for modern urban housing.

Many local stake-holders attended the inauguration ceremony 

The inauguration ceremony (see the photos) aroused a great deal of interest from NV clients, partners, local builders, and many people from the town, impressed not only by the thermal, acoustic, and aesthetic features of the building, but also by the fact that a basically mud-brick house can be made weatherproof, and include modern features and fittings.  

Khady Ly & Ndiamé Fall, extension agents with AVN-Senegal said :

" People who had never seen a NV building were much impressed by the concept. Some of our friends had made fun of us when we told them that we had joined AVN, but on the inauguration day they were overwhelmed by the quailty and style of the building, and at last understood our enthusiasm for the technique. " 

Comments from visitors: 

"No need to talk about what we saw that day - the building speaks for itself: you see it, and you want a house like that for yourself."

"It's lovely and cool inside the building - no need for aircon or fans. We were really surprised by the technique !"

New partnerships

During the inauguration, two new partnership agreements were signed with:

- the Belgian NGO Aide au Développement Gembloux (ADG), active in Tambacounda and Thiès,

- the Association Jaambar, a farming organisation in the region of Diourbel, near Thiès.

Building on these new and existing partnerships, the scene is now set for a rapid and successful extension of the AVN Program in Senegal, not only in rural areas, but also, eventually, in the overcrowded urban slums of many of Senegal's towns.

Any help you can provide, as always, is much appreciated.

 

Magnificent baobab tree close by...
Magnificent baobab tree close by...
Guests at the inauguration ceremony
Guests at the inauguration ceremony
Catering for the inauguration...
Catering for the inauguration...
Fanny Dupuis, AVN & President Association Jaambar
Fanny Dupuis, AVN & President Association Jaambar
Mud brick with embedded pebbles (lower left)
Mud brick with embedded pebbles (lower left)

Links:

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $200
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $200
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.