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 ...
Aug 26, 2013

Forthcoming opening of AVN's program in Ghana and Benin

After the successful opening of AVN-Senegal, we are glad to announce you that we are ready for a new scaling up of our program. 

Awareness on qualities of Nubian Vault buildings is spreading: more and more people want NV for their houses, schools, health centers, barns... Also, the effectiveness of AVN's pump-priming market method is increasingly recognized by NGOs, private enterprises and institutions, asking us for partnerships in order to diffuse NV technique in their areas of interest.

The next step we have scheduled is the opening of AVN dissemination program in the first regions of two new countries: Benin, Atacora-Donga region, and Ghana, Upper-East region.

Our teams have already made explorative missions in order to assess the need for Nubian Vaults and the existence of the conditions required to the development of the program in those areas, finding positive answers. The regions, in both cases among the poorest of their countries, have the same climatic and economic conditions, and face the same housing challenges, of the regions where AVN already works successfully. Local people showed enthusiasm in welcoming AVN, and a number of interested clients have already been contacted. Potential partnerships and collaborations are on discussion with private enterprises, NGOs, local authorities, and national institutions. 

For each country, 4 years of project will lead to: 130 NV built on 23 locations, 66 local people involved (masons, employees, key-persons), 260 tons of CO2 economized, 520 trees saved, 1,000 total beneficiaries. Most interestingly, these benefits are not limited to the years of deployment of program: the triggering of a virtuous circle will allow these figures to persist and increase in the following years. We have ambitious goals, but we can achieve them by relying on our experience and our strong motivation. 

What we need, now more than ever, is your support. The opportunity for Ghanaian and Beninois communities to enjoy the benefits that people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal have already enjoyed depends on the generosity of our community of supporters. Thank you for what you have done so far and for carrying on to give us your precious support. 


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Aug 6, 2013

AVN now established in Senegal

Khady Ly, Ndiame Fall & Fanny Dupuis
Khady Ly, Ndiame Fall & Fanny Dupuis

A permanent AVN team now established

Following the successful completion of a technical training center by NV masons in the region of Matam, a permanent AVN team has now been established in Senegal: in April, Khady Ly, Fanny Dupuis and Ndiame Fall set up office in the town of Thiès. Khady Ly, from Thiès, has been involved as a part-time 'ambassador' for AVN in Senegal for several years, and was joined in November 2012 by Fanny Dupuis, an urbanist, as national coordinator.  Ndiame Fall joined the team in May 2013 as an extension agent and assistant to Fanny Dupuis.

They will be working with our partner Le Partenariat ( PSLR )on our program in the north of the country (Saint Louis, Podor), will start an urban program in Thiès itself, and in 2014, a regional office is planned for Tambacounda - all part of an overall strategy to lay the foundations for a self-sustaining market in NV housing in Senegal.

A promising start

To date, there are two main poles of activity for AVN in Senegal:

  • in the region of Podor, a literacy center has been built in the village of Thialma, and a mosque in the village of Guege Wourou, by NV masons from Burkina and their Senegalese apprentices; both projects were part financed by Eiffage -Senegal (the French construction company Eiffage, previously known as Eiffel, after its founder, is famous historically for building the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty...).

  • In the region of Thies, pilot projects on construction of NV buildings in an urban environment have been launched, with several houses now completed, including a two-storey one. Tests are underway of the use of mud bricks incorporating pebbles on the external surface, to which a waterproof and maintenance-free cement render can then be applied.

The setting up of a third national team in West Africa (after Burkina Faso and Mali), marks an important turning point in the growth of AVN's program in the Sahel.

As always, your contributions towards the costs of recruitment and training of Senegalese apprentices and masons will provide invaluable support for the scaling up of our work in Senegal, providing employment and better housing and community facilities for the families in our target groups.

 

Inauguaration of the literacy center, Thialma
Inauguaration of the literacy center, Thialma
Construction of literacy center
Construction of literacy center
Completed literacy center
Completed literacy center
Mosque, Guege Wourou
Mosque, Guege Wourou
2 storey house in construction, Thies
2 storey house in construction, Thies
2 vault house in construction, Thies
2 vault house in construction, Thies
NV house with pebbles incorporated in bricks
NV house with pebbles incorporated in bricks

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May 13, 2013

Mid-season results / Disaster relief project / UN Habitat Dubai Award

New AVN office in Dedougou
New AVN office in Dedougou

Mid-season results

Half-way through the 2012/13 season (at the end of March) , the latest results showed consistent progress in the growth of AVN's Program in West Africa.

Since the start of the 2012/13 season, the following, very encouraging, results have been achieved:
-  new regions of activity, each with their own AVN team, have been created - two in Mali, and three in Burkina Faso (see photos of the new AVN office buildings in Dedougou and Yaco, Burkiona Faso);
- 10 more local staff have been recruited, including 5 dissemination agents, and 3 regional production managers;
- the first AVN Congress in Senegal has taken place, bringing together NV masons and 'champions' and supporters in the country;
- at the end of 2012, 219 NV masons and others involved in the Program took part in technical and management training workshops under the auspices of the Académie Nubienne ;
- 151 vaults were built, for the benefit of 928 people;
- 34% of NV buildings were a result of direct contacts between clients and independent NV masons / entrpreneurs - gradually, a self-sustaining market in NV housing is developing.

We are particularly proud to see the opening of four new regions of activity, and the success of the first results of the Académie nubienne training workshops.

AVN's First Disaster relief project

NV houses are being built for 27 families who lost their homes after a dam burst in the Nebba region of Burkina Faso in 2010. The project is financed by the  SELAVIP Foundation, and implemented by the local Tinyenga Niyemba Burkina (TNB) Association, in partnership with AVN. The first three of the 27 houses houses are already under construction, in the villages of Onguro and Diakongoudjo (see photo).

AVN's role in the project consists of identifying teams of independent NV masons, supporting the recruitment and training of local apprentices, and helping promote a self-sustaining market for NV housing in the region.

SELAVIP is a private foundation that supports housing projects for very poor families, with a focus on “extreme social emergency”. By choosing the Nubian Vault concept for this project, SELAVIP is enabling the families concerned to acquire decent and permanent housing, as well as the skills needed to contribute to further re-construction in their region in the future.

UN Habitat - Dubai International Award for AVN

Thomas Granier (AVN CEO) and Mathieu Hardy (AVN-Mali) went to Dubai in March to receive a UN-Habitat / Dubai International Award for best practice to improve the living environment. The Award, co- sponsored by UN-Habitat, specifically recognises our program in Burkina Faso for 'best practice transfer'. At the same time they met potential partners, investors, and sponsors for our work with Muslim communities in West Africa.

Meeting with Dedougou district chief and AVN staff
Meeting with Dedougou district chief and AVN staff
New AVN office in Yaco, Burkina Faso
New AVN office in Yaco, Burkina Faso
Mayor launches AVN construction site, Nebba
Mayor launches AVN construction site, Nebba

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