(BUILT WORK) CENTER OF LIVELIHOOD AND SOLIDARITY
Project Location: Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya / 2017 - current
together with refugee leaders: Muzabel, Vasco and Deborah
One issue in Kakuma Refugee Camp is that UNHCR and UNICEF only have the capacity to provide schooling for children under age 15, so many adolescents and young adults lacked learning opportunities and thus livelihoods during their years stuck in the refugee camp. Along with refugee leaders Muzabel and Vasco, we initiated a project to start a school for adolescents, young adults and women with childcare responsibilities but are eager to learn.
Gaining permission from the UNHCR, we designed, built and developed the first school in Kakuma that was initiated, self-governed and taught by refugees themselves. With minimal budget, basic construction methods and limited access to materials, building this school was signified as an act of empowerment for the entire community to exert their rights beyond survival, and to fulfill their potentials within the heavily constrained refugee camp.
During the design phase, we had community meetings for all interested refugees to voice their needs and goals, and all community members participated in the construction. Through this process, this practice also explored architecture’s potential to be a reachable tool for everyone in the refugee camp to challenge the status quo and shape a shared future.
The center was completed in May, 2017. It still runs today: https://www.facebook.com/resilienceac
Programs offered here now include: English, math, business development, computer technology, tailoring, sex and reproductive health education.