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

Right to decent and resilient housing for as many as possible in the Sahel

This season, the first activities aimed at shaping advocacy that focuses on "the right to decent and resilient housing for as many as possible in the Sahel" were carried out. These were led by civil society organization leaders (in particular of women's associations and famers' groups).

Living conditions of Sahelian populations, the state of the current building stock, demographic realities and rapid climate change fully justify the emergence of this right to adapted housing in Sahelian Africa, which as of today is not specifically referred to on any agenda, even though it determines how millions of families live and even though it falls under several SDGs (1-4-8-9-10-11-12-15). While AVN employees were until now the main people carrying out advocacy on behalf of the organization, especially in the North, it is now essential that those efforts be taken up and expressed by those who are primarily concerned by the issue and who are convinced of the legitimacy of this right. 

This approach was launched with the mobilization of women leaders in each of the countries of intervention; they represent several hundred and some, even thousands of women farmers (COFERSA, CAFO, etc.). Next season workshops will be held that bring together these leaders to: 

  • collectively set out the arguments behind the advocacy efforts, based on their analyses and claims,
  • determine the action's targets and the most appropriate vectors of communication,
  • co-create communication support material

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Testimony: Y. A. Yacoubou, contact point for UCCPA-Ouaké, an AVN Operational Partner in Benin

"Our cooperation with AVN as an Operational Partner began in November 2019. As an umbrella organization for cashew nut producers in Ouaké commune, we've mobilized cooperatives in the commune's six arrondissements, two of which are currently active in the programme financed by the European Union. Support from AVN has allowed us to be better organized and to expand our areas of intervention to the population in general and to cashew producers in particular.

Spreading AVN's programme has helped us grasp the true meaning of inclusive development. Through this programme, young farmers (who are often not really taken into account in projects and programmes) are now finding employment opportunities (NV masons) that do not require an academic degree. This employment also helps preserve the environment and strengthen the rural economy.

In addition, the training and support provided by AVN is allowing us to become more and more autonomous in terms of mobilizing and monitoring the training of local masons, as well as handing out financial incentives to potential clients. These solutions work on behalf of vulnerable people. AVN's programme gives us the opportunity to contribute to the development of our society, and we hope to find the necessary financing to expand these activities to the other four arrondissements in Ouaké."

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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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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
$22,430 raised of $30,000 goal
 
275 donations
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