Saturday, April 21, 2018

New Projects and Workshops! 2018

Curious Kids in Darfur_Ready to Move from Camps to Home
The end of 2017 and early 2018 have been busy times rebooting HS4S after a long period of relatively little activity. We are re-instating our 501c3, which lapsed due to the inactivity, and are gearing up for several new projects, workshops, and conferences. These are providing opportunities for partnerships with other foundations and organizations including the University of Khartoum and Portland State University as well as several Sudanese NGOs that have been working for years in Darfur, Blue Nile, Abyei, and the Nuba Mountains.  HS4S participated in recent UN and NGO meetings that reiterated the urgency of building with fireproof material and materials that are not tree based. The IDPs are leaving the camps and returning to their villages – cutting down what few trees are left in certain areas, particularly Darfur, would tip the environmental disaster over the eternal edge.  

University of Khartoum Library Arches
While our previous earth-building training of more than 100+ architects, students, engineers, and builders didn’t produce much traction, due to many factors, interest has suddenly increased exponentially in earth building. It is only recently that aid organizations are starting to move from emergency relief to rebuilding and development.  Furthermore, there is a huge burst of interest in entrepreneurship training in the Sudan including the University of Khartoum’s newly launched Centre for Entrepreneurship. HS4S has a proposal partnering Portland State’s business school and school of government with the University of Khartoum to craft the curriculum for the Centre. Portland State has a highly developed Impact Entrepreneur program that we would like to share and revise with the faculty of University of Khartoum to make it Africa/Sudan appropriate. We will be soliciting funds for this soon! The strategy is for entrepreneurship training to aid the newly trained earth builders in starting businesses for themselves. Boosting the economy is a must along with HS4S’s mission to train the less fortunate to rebuild their burned houses.

ARC Peace Sudan
While we did not see a lot of innovation from the previous earth-building training, USAID informed us that there are areas where some earth building was done after our traininga few places in Blue Nile and Khartoum. Some of our trained earth builders recently formed a Sudan chapter of ARC Peace and would like another round of training. They are working with an engineer from Darfur who has done some village planning for updating and rebuilding a burned village in his area. ARC Peace and Homes for Sudan will work with him in the future to help the villagers build earth based houses (that are superadobe, thus more durable than the mud or stick houses) and other innovative buildings for schools and public buildings.

Women from a Refugee and IDP area outside Khartoum
The arrival in Khartoum of Adam, a Polish architect, who has begun working with ARC Peace and the University of Khartoum, kick started a project in one of the refugee areas outside Khartoum that USAID and Habitat for Humanity started. HS4S’s director, Ahmed from the department of architecture at the University of Khartoum, and Adam met with some of the women and village leaders in this area and proposed a new women’s training center. Three other Sudanese NGOs will send some of their folks to train while we build using superadobe (a sand based method that uses very little cement, sandbags, and barbed wire).  We formed a small working group of architects from the University of Khartoum, ARC Peace, and 4aPurpose--and have a nascent drawing of a 2-dome building started. Several earth builders from 4aPurpose, who are now working on earth bag schools in Nepal, plan to come in the summer to work with us on the building workshop.  Hooman, our architect who trained under Nadir Khalili and who conducted the 2009 workshop in Darfur for HS4S, has tentatively agreed to join us for this endeavor, and will be the resident expert.

One of Hooman's 'Superadobe' Creations

In addition to the entrepreneurship workshop and the building workshop, HS4S founder discussed planning a seminar on elections, parties, and leadership hosted by the University of Khartoum. HS4S is writing a more detailed proposal to supplement its larger grant requests for the next 3 years. These are all part of the new approach of Homes for Sudan, the E3 approach, Earth-building, Education, and Entrepreneurship.

Old Women's Center to be Replaced with a 'Superadobe Structure"
The Sudan has so many potential resources for development including very smart young students and future leaders; so now is the time to encourage Sudanese owned development and change.  The country also has an amazingly rich history and heritage that is well hidden. The overall strategy of HS4S is to put 3 more years into comprehensive training and workshops and turn the enterprises over to the Sudanese.

Rich Land on a Coptic Farm 

Architectural Riches in Meroe

1 comment:

Steve Hoke said...

What a superb description of an obviously innovative and sustainable new form of architecture. Thanks for the time-lapse overview. be sure to let us know when the new domes are up and functioning! Dr. Stephen T.