Saturday, October 27, 2018

Graduation: Mayo Building Workshop hosted by Mayo Women’s Association – ‘Dalu for Development’

The team returned to the building site for a lovely graduation ceremony planned by USAID/TEPS. The project was a great success for the Mayo team (SHPDO, NOHS, University of Khartoum, Homes for Sudan, For A Purpose, ARC Peace Sudan, Mayo Women's Association Dalu for Development, Malam Darfur) and USAID/TEPS. Our thanks to the Mayo community!
The community women and some of the team gather in front
of the new women's training center after graduation!
Our sincere appreciation to the fine young men and women who participated, and to our funders: USAID/TEPS, the Stead Family Foundation, the Seeds for Jubilee Foundation, the Haggar Group, and Afra Plastic Industries, Co.

[Also a reminder to visit our earth-builder's Nepal website at For A Purpose: 
Remembering Nader Khalili and his partnership and inspiration for safe affordable housing for the world:
And shout out to our Ustaz Hooman Fazly:]
Charge d'Affaires Steven Koutsis, Commisioner of Jebel Aulia, Engineer Amir Eltayeb USAID,
and Markus Dausses USAID Sudan help us celebrate
Maude Koutsis (Madame Chief of Mission), Chief of Mission Steven Koutsis,
Mr. Markus Dausses USAID, and Ladies of Mayo
USAID officer Markus Dausses, the Chief of Mission Steven Koutsis, and the Commissioner from Jebel Aulia helped the team celebrate their big day; this was an empowering gesture that meant the world to the newly minted 'trainers'! Mr. Wallace Bain (Political Economics Officer at the US Embassy) and Deputy Chief of Mission Ellen Thorburn, J.D. were at the graduation as well. Since they had come with us on the Nile cruise and were honored guests with the team at Imam Ahmed Al Mahdi's picnic they were 'old friends' to the trainees by graduation day.
Back row: Asjad from ARC Peace Sudan, Mubarak from NOHS, Jebel Aulia Commissioner,
Chief of Mission Steven Koutsis, Abdlrazeg from the City Council,
Ahmed Abdulrahman assistant manager, Abubaker from SHPDO
Front row: Abeer, Lila, and Bushara from Mayo

Charge d'Affaires Koutsis, Boushara, Abdlrazeg, Ahmed Abdulrahman, Abubaker,
Mujtaba from NOHS, Amjed, Ahmed Ali, and Fatima from Mayo
The day was festive and the women from the Mayo Women's Association Dalu for Development showed up to show off their wares!
Miriam and Fatima sitting on the 'angareb' (daybed) in the back, pose
with some other ladies from the association with traditional wedding decorations
The ladies have their sewing machines moved into the new building and are already working
 The men of the community were starting to feel left out, and were complaining that the new building was for women only. They wanted to know 'what about the men who helped.' We explained that men and women got trained so they could all know how to build many more buildings, and the men could build a center for themselves! The Mayo Women's Association awarded a certificate to Mr. Jabir, director of the adjacent Peace Park and community liaison officer, for his assistance with their incorporation as Dalu for Development and his support with the project.
Big men from the community of Mayo (Jabir with the white shirt)

with the men from
Shadow Organization for Development
in the Nuba Mountains

Yisryya, head of Mayo Women's
Association, gives a certificate to Jabir,
the director of the Peace Park

Members of the US Embassy staff on the left with Mr. Maher Moussallati owner of
Afra Plastic Industries, Co.
Everyone is waiting for the next steps.
Markus Dausses from USAID cuts the second ribbon inside the building after
Chief of Mission Koutsis and the Commissioner cut the outside ribbon -
the ladies have their craft purses for sale on a table in the foreground

Ladies using the loft

Curious neighborhood boys
Amjed's father (with the turban) joins a picture with Amjed, Doc, and members of the team and community

Mr. Markus Dausses USAID joins
Dr. Abdalla Mohammed from TEPS

Jebel Aulia Commissioner with
Charge Koutsis, Awadia Mahmoud,
and Markus Dausses

Doc poses with Lila, Rihab, Abeer, and her sister
Yup, all of us on our big day! very happy! - but missing our Malam team members who
already returned to Darfur... we are glad that we had the Nile cruise to give them
their graduation, and grateful to the Deputy Chief of Mission Ellen Thorburn
for awarding their diplomas
Stay tuned for updates on next project possibilities this winter. We will be re-incorporating Homes for Sudan as a 501c3 in the next few months to begin fundraising for several more building projects with our newly trained 'trainers.' Additionally some joint efforts with the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Khartoum and with Portland State University, some faculty and student exchanges between the USA and the Sudan assisted by Seeds for Jubilee, and - Inshallah - a conference on 'Democracy 2020: Parties, Leadership, and Elections' with the Department of Political Science at the University of Khartoum.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Celebrating the Finish: Mayo Building Workshop hosted by Mayo Women’s Association – ‘Dalu for Development’

Celebrating finishing the domes with a Nile Cruise!

A really nice picture of all of us on the Nile finally relaxing after three months of heavy work
and studies!
So as not to forget we are celebrating the women's training center completed last week!
A shout out to and the memory of Nader Khalili for inspiring
safe affordable and environmentally friendly housing in the Sudan/Darfur
and again, thanks to our generous donors:
USAID/TEPS, Stead Family Foundation, Seeds for Jubilee Foundation
Haggar Foundation, Afra Plastic Industries Co
and our thanks to support from the University of Khartoum Faculty of Architecture
and the School of Management
In particular, the cruise gave us the opportunity to honor the men from Malam Darfur
who trained with us and are now trainers!!! and hand them their certificates
They have to leave for Darfur before the big opening next week...
Suliman, Saifadin, Rashid, and Mohammed Issa together with the acting
Chief of Mission from the US Embassy DCM Ellen Thorburn, J.D.
Yes, we still get goofy and go crazy with selfies!!!! Asjad, Mubarak, Waha, Djo, Babiker,
Amjed, Adam, Fatima, Abdlrazeg, Mohammed Issa, and Big Red
Djo (Jooren Surmont founder of 'For A Purpose' thanks
our assistant manager Ahmed Abdulrahman and gives a talk to the team
Djo nicks Mohammed Issa's glasses
and poses with him and Sheikh Ahmed

Lila takes some selfies on the deck

Mathi in a jallabyya borrowed from 
Sheikh Ahmed
takes a messianic photo by
the dome before leaving for the boat

Mathi and Sheikh Ahmed (looking
the part) pose together in their
jallabyyas before boarding the bus
for the Nile River

The men looking like future big business owners
who will build safe houses for the people of Darfur
Mubarak (architect) Abdlrazeg (town councilman) and Abubaker (SHPDO)

Rashid from Malam poses with the ladies from Mayo Women's Association: Lila, Rihab,
Yisryya (leader of Dalu for Development), Abeer, and her sister
Yassir Al Fadel from USAID/TEPS/AECOM (in sunglasses) poses with the ladies from Mayo
and Adam to the left (Fatima's son holds her baby in the background)
 Next week we post pictures of the 'grand opening' and then move on to raise support for our newly trained trainers!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Week Sixteen!!! Mayo Building Workshop hosted by Mayo Women’s Association – ‘Dalu for Development’

Our lady builders pose beside the completed domes - the team loved the 'southwest' look, though it took them awhile to appreciate how to use rocks and stones
to make a nice garden - the site was full of petrified wood  making for great landscaping
We were honored with visits from the University of Khartoum’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, the former governor of North Darfur State, and the folks from CARE International Switzerland.
So many great sunset pictures! no one wanted to leave...
Here the team poses with the former governor of North Darfur, Hamad Ismael Hamad,
and Mr. Izzeldeen from CARE; Ms. Basma Saeed, the CARE Manager of
Innovation and Partnerships, was taking the photos...

We finished the inside plastering this week, hooked up the electricity, and just had time for some final landscaping....             Last town hall meeting…
We started the week with a final last town hall meeting to update the team and set out the
tasks for the week to reach our deadline!!

Djo talks about what needs to be finished, divides the group into working teams -
while Sheikh Ahmed (in costume) translates
Dr. Neimat, Director of the Centre for
Entrepreneurship at the U of Khrt
braves a visit inside the domes during
the plastering phase
The ladies from the University of Khartoum's Centre for Entrepreneurship made it all the way out to Mayo to visit with the ladies from the Mayo Women's Association. They were very impressed with the women's knowledge of the building process and methods - and were proud of their countrywomen for such a great achievement. 

They asked the women to accompany Doc to do a 'case study' presentation at the Entrepreneurship Week Conference in December at the University of Khartoum. Doc will do the power point with pictures, the ladies of Mayo agreed to talk. One of them has a university degree, the second is working on her degree and the other two have HS diplomas and have completed a couple of business courses. Homes for Sudan intends to  follow up with all of the trainees to help them in their new ventures. This will be the goal of the new grant applications and continued partnerships with the organizations on this project!! 

[NOHS, SHPDO, ARC Peace, USAID/TEPS, University of Khartoum, For A Purpose, Mayo Women's Association Dalu for Development]

The ladies exit the domes to sit in the guard shed for a chat:
Lila Khamis sits by Dr. Neimat, Rihab explains the building process,
Dr. Elham, head of Business Administration at U of K, fields a phone call,
and Fatima, who is usually pretty quiet, showed that she knows the start to finish steps of dome building!!!
The team worked on the finishing touches inside the dome, keeping the ceiling rings by covering them with a thin layer of gypsum based plaster. 
Saiadin, Amjed, and Rashid become master plasterers!
Mujtaba and Abubaker discuss future
plans while plastering
Hassan and Lila support
the arch plastering

Suliman demonstrates that he is
a master plastere

The team has to learn new techniques
with the earth building that they are
not used to doing... 

Yes, we did actually hook up the electricity on the very last day!!!
Rashid points to the light in the mezzanine
We did some last minute landscaping and beautification of the construction site.
Lila and Doc go to choose some plants with the bit of money left

Bushara plants a bougainvillea to grow over the guard shack and make it beautiful

The ladies bring some cuttings from their own gardens to expand the landscaping...
Lila and Djo do some planting

Lila has the proven skills to be the designated resident in charge of
maintaining the beautification of their training center

Mathias plants the aloe that Ustaz Hooman rescued from the refuse pile next door at
the beginning of the project... we know the greenery will bloom with the success of the team!

Babiker stands in the doorway, Architect Mubarak photo-bo_mbs Doc, while Ahmed, Adam,
and Rashid admire their landscaping and get a chuckle....

Djo taught the team how to make natural paint to even out the plaster on the inside. Mr. Hooman tuned in to the final day with the miracle of electronics.
Babiker takes a photo of of the natural paint that Djo taught the team... sample hearts...
definitely a symbol of the bonds the team formed... 

Triumphal entry into the completed dome for a farewell get together!
The team breaks out in a cheer at a surprise electronic visit by Ustaz Hooman -
engineered by Mathi and his cell phone
Rihab, Abeer, Lila, and Fatima receive the new padlock to their training center!!
Djo sits by Mr. Izeeldeen (former construction manager from CARE) and Ms. Basma Saeed, Manager of Innovation and Partnerships from CARE International Switzerland...
CARE is investigating the 'superadobe' method for
building grain storage elevators, counseling centers,
 and other edifices for their relief efforts...
Some final 'team posing' by their new building!
Mathi and Djo pose with the lady earth builders

The team can't resist climbing to the top...
may they ever keep climbing upward in their achievements after the project!

Yes, we know Mubarak likes to pose.... but even more, he is unbelievably proud of their building!

The Omdurman buddies - Mujtaba, Mubarak, Abubaker and Adam
pose with Babiker, Bushara, Suliman and Hassan
Eligible bachelors Mujtaba and Mubarak pose with Rihab, Abeer, and Lila (bachelorettes),
and Fatima (married with children)
The gentlemen members of the team had a wonderful rapport with
the ladies of the team...working respectfully together -
the mixed team effort was a great example of what can be in this world!
It was hard to leave new friends... everyone stayed well into sunset goofing around with each other - when normally they are ready to leave at 3:30....
The team poses with Abeer - who has been visiting the site during the final week after breaking her
ankle a few weeks earlier...

The 'boys' can't resist some last minute joking around... Djo douses Rashid with the water for
the plants

Mathi, Ahmed Abdulrahman, Adam, Mubarak, Abubaker, Djo, Babiker, Ahmed Ali, Amjed, Hassan,
Lila, Rihab, Ahmed Abubaker, and Saifadin
Final portraits....
The guys toss Mathi in the air after succeeding with Djo below
And a long overdue shout out to our 'eco volunteers' from 'For A Purpose' - Jooren Surmont (AKA Djo) and Mathias Vandewouwer (AKA Mathi).

Djo was traveling in Nepal during the 2015 earthquake, and immediately rolled up his sleeves and started volunteering with relief distribution. He returned to Belgium, raised some funds, and traveled to Nepal the following year, and volunteered with architect Adam Chalupski building a school with earth bags.

He decided he would return to Belgium, gather some of his friends like Mathi and Aaron; and start a group on Facebook to bring funds and builders back to Nepal to build earth quake resistant buildings for the communities.

While some people fervently believe in God and are very religious, God fervently believes in great human beings like Djo and Mathi who might not be religious, but who selflessly volunteer their time and money to help better humanity and bring relief to victims of poverty and earthquakes. Djo will be going back to Belgium to work for a few months, host some more fund raisers, and then attend an earth-building workshop to learn some new techniques before resuming their work in Nepal. Mathi will be taking a break with his significant other for a few months, also helping to raise funds with Djo before returning to Nepal. We cannot thank them enough for their tireless contribution to the team and the community of Mayo!!!

The guys toss Djo in the air as a final hurrah!! Djo is the creator of 'For A Purpose'
...and a few more portraits ... showing off our beautiful bit of 'Southwest Desert' in a Khartoum suburb.

The SHPDO gang at the OK Corral: Ahmed Abubaker (AKA Big Red), and Abubaker Omer  

Abdlrazeg - our resident councilman
brings his friend, the former
governor of North Darfur
Hamad Ismael Hamad, to visit
our newly completed dome, we
were most honored!!

Bushara loves taking selfies... well, so
does the whole team,
Babiker, Big Red and Adam
all participating in final shots!!

Djo teases Abeer about tossing her
into the air with her cast... 

Hassan poses with the landscaping!
beautiful in the evening shadows!

Rashid and Mubarak finishing up by the door! posing while Mathi is digging!
Adam, much more than the team driver, poses with Mubarak, while Doc, Ahmed Abdulrachman,
Leila and Bushara check on the newly planted banana tree... and the newly planted neem tree that
Mathi brought back to life from near death along with Ustaz Hooman's rescued aloe
"V' is for ...........
Someone is really happy about the team's accomplishments!!!
Saturday we have a Nile cruise to honor the team...