AVN's new office in Thies
On May 24, 2014, AVN inaugurated its permanent office in Senegal, built by NV masons from Burkina Faso and Senegal. So the AVN-Senegal team, created in 2013, now has a permanent office and show-house, open to the public, to be used as a base for promoting the NV concept throughout the country - in particular in the regions of Saint-Louis and Thiès where AVN is already active, and, soon, in the regions of Diourbel, Fatick and Tambacounda.
The first AVN office built in an urban context
This is the very first time that a team of NV masons has built an AVN regional office in a town centre. It is a two storey building, with a roof terrace, sanitation, and external staircase. The external walls and roof are rainproof, using a technique developed by AVN, using pebbles embedded in the bricks' surface, thus allowing for waterproof cement rendering to be successfully applied. The building is a showcase for the successful use of the NV technique for modern urban housing.
Many local stake-holders attended the inauguration ceremony
The inauguration ceremony (see the photos) aroused a great deal of interest from NV clients, partners, local builders, and many people from the town, impressed not only by the thermal, acoustic, and aesthetic features of the building, but also by the fact that a basically mud-brick house can be made weatherproof, and include modern features and fittings.
Khady Ly & Ndiamé Fall, extension agents with AVN-Senegal said :
" People who had never seen a NV building were much impressed by the concept. Some of our friends had made fun of us when we told them that we had joined AVN, but on the inauguration day they were overwhelmed by the quailty and style of the building, and at last understood our enthusiasm for the technique. "
Comments from visitors:
"No need to talk about what we saw that day - the building speaks for itself: you see it, and you want a house like that for yourself."
"It's lovely and cool inside the building - no need for aircon or fans. We were really surprised by the technique !"
During the inauguration, two new partnership agreements were signed with:
- the Belgian NGO Aide au Développement Gembloux (ADG), active in Tambacounda and Thiès,
- the Association Jaambar, a farming organisation in the region of Diourbel, near Thiès.
Building on these new and existing partnerships, the scene is now set for a rapid and successful extension of the AVN Program in Senegal, not only in rural areas, but also, eventually, in the overcrowded urban slums of many of Senegal's towns.
Any help you can provide, as always, is much appreciated.
Magnificent baobab tree close by...
Guests at the inauguration ceremony
Catering for the inauguration...
Fanny Dupuis, AVN & President Association Jaambar
Mud brick with embedded pebbles (lower left)