House in Mutakwa, exterior
As mentioned in my last update, two experienced masons and a coordinator/manager were sent from Burkina Faso to Zambia by AVN in May for a period of six months, to launch the second year of our pilot program in this country..
By the end of October of this year, 5 - 6 houses will be completed, two in the village of Mutakwa (see photos), one in Kayoba and two in Fringilla along the road going from Mutakwa to Kabwe.
The houses in Fringilla will initially serve as show-houses in the region, as part of our strategy to publicize the AVN program, and to attract the attention of potential sponsors / investors, such as NGO’s involved in helping families gain access to decent housing. The first of these houses has already been completed in a record time: less than 3 weeks (see the attached photos of stages of construction - it takes time to get these pictures, involving a 1 hour bicycle ride to the nearest internet access place, a small hotel, and the connexions don’t always work…once I receive photos of the finished houses, I will post them here).
Jean Stasse, President of AVN Belgium, travelled to Zambia and Botswana late August. Various contacts have been taken with local NGO’s (involved in housing for many years in Zambia)) who could become potential partners. They have shown great interest in the AVN concept (based on the advantages in terms of lower costs, superior insulation, environmental respect, long life etc …) compared to other housing concepts. Contacts have also been taken with potential clients in preparation for the next season (2012) as well as with potential sponsors.
Obviously, starting a new habitat concept in another country, with a different language and culture (AVN’s main base being in Burkina Faso), is not an easy task. People have to be convinced. This takes time and efforts but we are confident that AVN concept will be a success in the southern African region. Any help you can provide to smooth the path to this success will, as always, be very welcome.
Mutakwa house, interior
Fringilla house: vault construction
Fringilla house, half-way stage
Fringilla house, masons & apprentices
Fringilla house, completed vault