Project leader Aseel Honein shows us her studies.
Shonali Banerjee and Aliza Appelbaum are In-The-Field Representatives for GlobalGiving. They are visiting projects in Morocco, Spain and France. Here is their most recent "postcard" from Spain:
Unlike most other GlobalGiving partners that are usually organizations, our only current partner in Spain is a single entrepreneur who is leading her own project. Aseel Honein, who came to GlobalGiving through a World Bank initiative, aims to empower homeless people by looking to develop long-term solutions to the problems that cause homelessness. In other words, instead of providing temporary shelter for homeless people, Aseel’s project would like to address the causes of the homelessness. Aseel is no longer based in Barcelona, but comes back to the city from her hometown in Lebanon several times per year.
Aseel organizes and hosts brainstorming workshops, and also plans awareness campaigns. During our meeting, Aseel (pictured), whose full-time job is as a professor of architecture and design in Lebanon, showed us some of her results. In one video, some of her Lebanese students came to spend a week in Barcelona, where they put together a demonstration with a light up swing in a park where children play during the day but homeless people sleep at night. We also saw some ideas from the workshops, including one in which beach umbrellas could have pull-down shades to turn into shacks, and another where these small shops that sell food or magazines along Las Ramblas could have small beds built into the back.
Aliza and I were very interested to see these solutions pitched from an architecture and spacial perspective instead of a political one. We admired Aseel's community challenge approach to resolving this issue, and we're looking forward to seeing some more practical elements of this project once the research phases have been completed!