Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa

by Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)
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Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa
Beneficiaries of the UE project in Benin
Beneficiaries of the UE project in Benin

EU Project in Benin: results and perspectives from the first year

Since December 2019, AVN and its Operational Partners - l’Union des Associations Villageoises de Gestion des Réserves de Faune (AVIGREF) and the Union Communale des Coopératives de Producteurs d’Anacarde (UCCPA) - have received financial support from the European Union for implementation of a project promoting a bioclimatic construction sector and youth employment in the north of Benin, involving eight Implementation Units in the Departments of Atacora and Donga.

During the first year of operation (the 2019/2020 season):

  • 121 youngsters have undergone training on 27 construction sites, including 13 technical and entrepreneurial training modules;
  • 14 clients have benefited from financial incentives for construction of their own NV houses;
  • partnerships have been formalised between AVN and 2 Operational Partners in Implementation Territories (OP-IT) et 5 Operational partners in Implementation Units (OP-IU);
  • 14 focal and subsidiary points have benefited from skills upgrading.

Two ceremonies have been organised in the communes of Ouaké (department of Donga) and Tanguiéta (department of Atacora) for the official launch of the project, bringing together local authorities and development agencies (read the news).

The second year of the project (the 2020/2021 season) started last September wit the organisation of training academies for focal and subsidiary points, and awareness raising to mobilise local masons to join and continue with NV training activities. During this second year of implementation, we plan for:

  • 37 training construction sites;
  • 67 training modules Reinforcement on Building site – First Clients (RB-FC)* ;
  • 27 technical and entrepreneurial training modules;
  • distribution of 80 Client Incentive Coupons** (CIC) to villagers for construction of their NV buildings;
  • additional support for 36 clients through Wanani promotions.

In addition, a competition for the « most beautiful NV » will be organised to recompense clients who have kept their buildings in excellent condition, and to encourage others to follow their example.

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*RB-FC : The training modules "Reinforcement on Building site – First Clients" help masons who want to become artisans to take responsibility for their first construction sites whilst being accompanied by a Trainer Mason, allowing for combined training on technical issues, working with clients, and team management.
*CIC : these printed and numbered coupons are given to masons by AVN or its Operational Partners. Each incentive coupon corresponds to a maximum of 15 % of the total cost of the building, but nevertheless represents an important proportion of the cash needed to pay the specialist labour costs.

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The PATRIP project: Nubian Vault construction helps to stabilise cross-frontier populations

Since September 2019, AVN has been running the Burkina Faso / Mali project "Émancipation of cross-frontier communities at risk of destabilisation", financed by the PATRIP Foundation and coordinated by the NGO Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH). The project aims to help stabilise the cross-frontier region between Mali and Burkina Faso by contributing to the well-being of the local population through creation of youth employment opportunities and the rapid construction of community infrastructure. Specifically, the project involves, over two years, the construction 60 NV buildings and the training of 120 young Maliens and Burkinabes as NV masons in 10 frontier communes.

At the half-way point, a workshop presided over by Sahabani Zeba, High Commissioner of Banwa Province brought together the project partners, local politicians and beneficiaries from the 10 communes, was held on October 27th last in Dédougou.

AVN was able to present encouraging results from this first season, despite some construction delays caused by the rainy season and various security and health issues:

  • 27 community buildings completed, including health centres, school rooms, storage barns, community buildings for women and youngsters, guest rooms etc.;
  • employment of over 100 local youth undergoing NV training;
  • the certification of 10 NV head masons who have created their own construction businesses;
  • the running of around 50 training modules, on-site and in workshops.

Participants in the meeting welcomed these results enthusiastically and praised the many impacts of the project – social cohesion, economic development, improved access to basic services etc. - reinforcing the capacity of of these frontier populations faced with a disturbing security situation. A strong appeal for continuation of the project beyond 2021 was made by all present.

NV Masons
NV Masons
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AVN voted a winner of the Grand Prix de l’innovation urbaine Le Monde Cities

The jury of the prize for urban innovation awarded by the prestigious French newspaper Le Monde is made up of experts from round the world (politicians, researchers, corporate and foundation directors, architects, and urbanists). In this the fifth year of operation of the Prize, the jury has awarded the Grand Prix to AVN for its programme of adapted housing and construction in West Africa.

61 projects were in competition for the Prize, in 5 categories : Habitat, Mobility, Energy, Urbanism, and Citizen Participation. AVN’s project was specifically noted for its innovatory approach, its international coverage, and its potential for scaling up.

Through this latest sign of international recognition, AVN hopes that the essential importance of adapted housing and construction will receive more emphasis and attention. This key issue and its associated impacts on professional training, employment, attenuation of and adaptation to climate change, environmental protection, and strengthening of local economies should no longer be neglected.

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A bioclimatic construction sector for the youth of northern Benin

Ceremonies to launch the project for a bioclimatic construction sector to provide jobs for the youth of northern Benin were launched on June 18-23 this year.

The first ceremony was held at the Mairie of Ouaké, in the presence of the Mayor, M. Dramane Ouolou, representatives of the Coopératives Villageoises de Producteurs d’Anacarde (CVPA), operational partners of the project from Ouaké and Sèmèrè I, members of the Union Communale des Coopératives de Producteurs d’Anacarde (UCCPA) of Ouaké, of AVN’s national office in Benin and of civil society organisations from Ouaké.

The second ceremony was held in Tanguiéta in the presence of the Mayor, M. Zakari Boukary, and various partners.

Co-financed by the European Union for a period of 3 years, this project supports the implementation of a programme of bioclimatic housing organised by AVN and its parters in Benin, involving professional training, job creation, climate mitigation and adaptation, environmental protection and the strengthening of local economies.

This project will train young apprentices during the dry season to become Nubian Vault masons, thanks to a dual programme open to all without any academic prerequisites, combining on-site experience with support to become entrepreneurs and join the local and regional construction sector. The NV technique relies heavily on local labour and low-carbon construction materials, and is implemented in collaboration with local partners, thus guaranteeing long-term growth in the number of active masons able to earn additional revenue between the two active agricultural seasons.

This event was also an opportunity to present the scope of the project and the results of its first year of operation.

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Masons on site
Masons on site

PEJDC: NV training project galvanises rural employment

Burkina Faso, like other African countries, faces severe youth unemployment and under-employment. To confront this challenge, from 2014 the Burkinabe government initiated the Projet Emplois des Jeunes et Développement des Compétences (PEJDC), financed by the International Development Association (part of the World Bank Group) aimed at improving employability through three main modules :

  • access to temporary employment through high labour intensity projects;
  • skills development through professional and entrepreneurship training;
  • institutional support.

In the context of the second module, AVN signed an agreement with the Ministère de la Jeunesse et de la Promotion Entrepreneuriale des Jeunes for the implementation of a component entitled « Formation duale portée par des Organisations Civiles de Base (OCB) pour un habitat adapté dans 3 communes au Burkina Faso » (joint training with civil society organisations - CSO’s - for adapted housing in three communes) between September and December 2019.

In order to involve local actors in the implementation of the programme, AVN led three awareness raising and information sessions for local councils and CSO’s in the three communes. Two CSO’s have been identified for operational follow-up activities and for initiation into the AVN’s territorial methodology: Entraide familiale in Siby and the Association pour la Promotion du Genre et de l’épanouissement de la Femme (APGEF) in Séréna. with their help, 18 trainees have been selected and three trainer masons mobilised.

In the first instance, 3 training worksites have been implemented in each commune (Boromo, Oury, Siby), each employing 6 masons (3 apprentices and 3 Trainer Masons), allowing at the same time for on-site apprentice training and houses for the Trainer Masons, the 9 NV houses built also acting as « show houses » of interest to potential future clients.

To reinforce the on-site technical training, classroom-based training based on the NV Mason’s Manual was organised for all the trainees. The Trainer Masons also benefited from a module on On-Site Training Practice.

Once the buildings were completed, the head masons were able to canvass for their own clients through construction incentives, leading 24 more NV houses being built, each worksite allowing for the apprentices to further develop their skills.


Results and impacts of the project:

  • 33 buildings completed, 24 with incentives and 9 via the training sites
  • 18 trainees involved and continuing their NV training
  • 24 artisan masons with improved skill levels
  • several potential apprentices interested in being trained as NV masons
  • a raised level of demand: several potential clients have contacted NV masons, hoping to benefit from the NV construction incentive programme
  • local institutional actors now aware of adapted housing issues: youth employment, environmental protection, prevention of deforestation, climate attenuation and adaptation etc.
Partners
Partners
Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries

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A new year, a new decade, new challenges to respond to, together.

Only a few months after COP25, which clearly demonstrated the difficulties that States encounter in passing from declarations of intention to acts, and the resultant severe delay in implementing measures to respond to climate change, this new decade needs to be one of clear-sighted courage.

As we reach a critical point in human history, the housing challenge is clearly one of the major issues related to ecological, social, and climatic evolution: a major daily preoccupation of billions of people throughout the world.
The population of the ten countries of the Sahel, currently estimated at 300 million - a figure which could double within the next three decades - is amongst the most affected by the challenges of attaining decent and secure living conditions, green jobs,  professional training, local economic growth, and resilience to climate and environmental changes. For the last twenty years, the programme of AVN and its partners has helped provide a global, adapted, and durable response to these challenges by accompanying the emergence and growth of a Nubian Vault construction market in the Sahel, based on locally sourced materials and endogenous skills.

More than ever, this programme must attract and  bring together all possible sources of support and strength to significantly scale up its work and multiply its impacts. Together, whatever form your actions, however modest, may take, we invite you to contribute your thoughts, ideas, and strong commitment to support and enhance the long-lasting, necessary, and fascinating evolution of our programme.

The entire AVN team send you their best wishes for 2020 and the challenging decade ahead.

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AVN at the Sudan International Education Conference

From January 25 to 27, 2020, AVN was at the SIEC 2020 (Sudan International Education Conference) in Sudan. Co-organized by the World Bank, the European Union, UNICEF and the Sudanese Ministry of Education, the objective of this conference was to bring the main stakeholders in the sector to identify priorities for the transformation of the Sudanese education system and to propose a collaborative process for the development of new policies and actions contributing to such changes.

AVN’s experience in the Western Sahel over the past twenty years has been presented as a case study. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of the evolution of constructive practices towards more sustainability and accessibility. This evolution is now mandatory in response of the current environmental and climatic crises and the massive needs in terms of housing and basic infrastructure that the Sahel is currently facing.

AVN at the International Education Conference
AVN at the International Education Conference
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David K., NV Entrepreneur
David K., NV Entrepreneur

Trainer masons: a future-looking job

Trained in the technique in 2004, David K. is now a Nubian Vault entrepreneur and trainer mason, having built more than 60 Nubian Vaults and having traines’d many apprentices. This season, he received support from AVN's Training Team on how to use the new monitoring tools. He explains the advantages thereof:

The trainer's role
"As a trainer, I am and always have been "the oldtimer" to the young people on my team, so I try to get close to them to better understand them and to better train them. I've always used the Mason's Manual to explain the technique using images. Those who have been to school can read, and I explain things to them. On-site, if a mason has trouble with a certain job, I observe what he's doing and correct his positioning. The way we use the tools and how they're applied to the work is essential. I pay close attention!
The time spent on training is very important, and I take the time to do it properly. Once I even convinced the team to work with a Swiss engineer for free to learn new techniques. On my own worksites, I always let the client know that I'm going to take extra time for training. Some of them have even paid for members of their family to be trained!
I also try to reproduce as best I can the pedagogical advice given during the annual Masons’ Congresses. I always say that if I train a lot of people well, I could get work for a lot of masons. Thus far, at least 12 of my trainees have become artisans, and I'm very proud of them."


Evolutions in training methods
"The creation of the Trainee Evolution Booklet is an opportunity for training: apprentices know where they are in their journey and that pushes them to develop their capabilities. For example, Wembié [editor’s note: one of David's apprentices] knows the difference between the operations for which he is already proficient and those for which he still needs to acquire or strengthen his skills. He is therefore better able to identify his needs.
At one point, I had three worksites to manage at the same time and my teams had to occasionally quit working to go back to placer mining. I then had to train new masons to rebuild my team and to meet demand, but it was difficult to do so quickly. Now, with the new training methods, I know that I could do that in an efficient way, which is encouraging."

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A new NV economic centre in Mali

Two years after the Electrified Activity Area opened in Konséguéla, Mali, a new Nubian vault project led by GERES is now being carried out in the commune of Koury: a Productive Energy Centre (PEC). This will allow about 15 rural companies to carry out their work and to boost local trade, which will, amongst other things, benefit the 54,000 inhabitants of the commune (which covers 16 villages).
Managed by the commune of Koury's Association of Artisans and Workers, the PEC will be supplied by electricity coming both from a local network and from a 100% renewable plant (solar energy and plant-based fuels). This hybrid system will guarantee the autonomy of the artisans in the event of network problems.
The decision to use the NV technique to build this centre makes sense because it will allow artisans to work in optimal conditions given climate constraints, it will boost the impact the project has in terms of energy (reduced CO2 emissions, local materials) and finally, it will allow local young people to be trained and employed in the field of NV masonry.

Masons working on the PEC construction site
Masons working on the PEC construction site
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Organization Information

Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)

Location: Ganges, N/A - France
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @#!/earthroofs
Project Leader:
Chloé Adloff
Communication Officer at the Nubian Vault Association
Milton Keynes, n/a United Kingdom
$21,621 raised of $30,000 goal
 
250 donations
$8,379 to go
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