tirsdag 30. september 2014


Part 1:

Environmental sustainability
Sustainability, especially in an environmental context, is a subject that has gained more and more attention through the recent years. The background for this is fundamentally the growing population on the planet and their growing needs and the consequences of the planet´s use of resources. From the famous Brundtland definition of sustainability, we know that the term reflects upon satisfying the current generation’s need without reducing the same possibilities for the upcoming ones (Bokalders and Block, 2010). This means that we have to, as much as possible, look away from resource craving processes to get a better overview of what we can achieve with simple, sustainable means. Human activity and the natural environment are in daily contact, and it is therefore important that both can enhance and adapt to each other in their existence. The environment has no other choice than to adapt to what we do, but it is our choice to respect the environment and do less harm to it. Therefore, an environmentally sustainable set of thoughts is important to fulfil what was defined in the Brundtland Commission.

With technological and economic growth, the world has become more resource craving. In developing countries the same level of economy or technology is not always present. Human life has existed and continued in a state of world where there were less or no such opportunities – life was still functional at that time. This means that it is still possible to continue a highly functional life with simple and available material and tools, if we are willing to give this reversed technological development a chance.

A focus on low-tech, climate adaptive, passive solutions integrated with local building culture based on available resources and tools is attractive for this project in order to maintain a sustainable approach. By including the local community in the process they will also learn how to use local material and suitable techniques in an efficient and sustainable way. The mentioned, combined with thoughts of off-grid systems for water and, if possible, electricity will make the design further sustainable and more self-sufficient. This will help the community to develop and enhance itself further with new knowledge that is still based on something familiar. The design should be affordable without compromising efficiency and aesthetics. To further investigate possibilities of making the design and its function more efficient it is interesting to look at what active solutions could be incorporated.
When choosing materials from a sustainable point of view, it is important to focus on materials that are locally available and not scarce. Earth is a primary and commonly available material in Uganda. It is also associated with their building culture and with vernacular architecture in Africa. As innovative projects around the world show, material that are originally thought to become waste or those that have the possibility of recycling, can also be used in constructions, as furnish and decoration. Tyres of vehicles can be embedded in walls, they can be stacked as stairs, be sat on or used as playful elements on playgrounds. Plastic and glass bottles are also usable in walls and they can create interesting and fun architectural elements with their transparency, if they are not thought to be covered in earth as part of a wall element.

lørdag 27. september 2014

Re-use waste materials part 2: reuse glassbottles

As described in earlier post (Link: Re-use Waste materials part 1)  the potenital of re-using waste materials is only limited by your own creativity! For the New Miles2Smiles center, we looked into the possibility of using glassbottles as wall-infills, as heat-collectors and as window elements. We found for example that glassbottles give a fantastic light effect when molded into an earth-wall directly exposed to sunlight! The children of the Miles2Smiles are gonna love this feature! And it is so beautiful and simple!


                                           Photocredits: www.paulglover.org, www.adn.com

fredag 26. september 2014

Presentation of the Miles2Smiles organization and The Strømme Foundation

As I realized, we haven't yet given a real presentation of the Miles2Smiles, which is the end-user for this project and has been an important influence and inspiration all the way. So here comes a short presentation of Miles2Smiles:
(photo credit: Ester Halto)
Miles2Smiles is a day-care and welfare center which aims to help families living in the slum of Kampala with day-care for the children and education in financial management and microfinance for the women.

When the local authorities passed a law forbidding the mothers to bring their children to the market with them, as it was thought of as unsafe for the children, many of these women only had the option to leave their children at home all day, locked up and alone. The center was therefore founded in 2006 close to the local market where the mothers work to earn their only income, as a day-care center where the women could leave their children safely during the day.

The center is run as daycare and nursery school, where they help children as young as 2-3 years old to learn the alphabet and the numbers, so that when they "graduate" at the age of six, they have a solid foundation for starting school and getting an education. The New Miles2Smiles center will in addition provide education for women outside the day-care’s opening hours.

The Strømme foundation in Norway supports Miles2Smiles to help offer good day-care facilities at very low cost, and in addition offer microfinance education for the mothers to help them out of poverty. Strømme is a non-governmental organization that focuses on the principle of "help to self-help" through the means of education and microfinance in the fight against poverty worldwide.
For more information about Miles2Smiles, check out (and like) their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Miles2smiles
For more information about The Strømme Foundation, check out (and like) their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Strommefoundation and their webpage: http://strommestiftelsen.no/
Also, check out earlier posts and read the sad but warming story behind the Miles2Smiles, as told by the founder Catherine Kitongo

The little angel in the market; - The story behind Miles2SMiles

The story behind the Miles2Smiles Foundation, as told by the founder Catherine Kitongo:

One day I went to get my hair braided by a woman in the market of Kampala. My eyes rested upon this other woman, selling food while caring for her little baby. The litte baby looked so small and frail, and I would have guessed it to be no more than 3 months old. When I later asked about the child’s age I learned that it was 11 months old, and I remember my heart sank.

This was the brutality, - I realized, - for many struggling mothers working long hours in the local market with minimal income. They could not afford to leave the child in a day care center, and they could not afford to stay home, taking care of the child. As bringing their child to the market would lower their chances of making money, their only solution was to leave their children at home during the day, often locked up in small, dark spaces. This was done by loving mothers with the purpose of protecting their children, but with woeful result of the child being undernourished and under-developed, and often seriously or even fatally ill.

A great desire to help encouraged me to create an organization to help found a day care center for the children of mothers working at the market. I founded an organization, found a place with an affordable rent close to the market and engaged people who were willing to help me run the day care. I was now eager to finally welcome my first child, who I wanted to be that little baby I had seen on the market that day.

When I returned to the market, excited to give the mother the uplifting news and a promise of a better future for this child, I learned that the baby had died few days ago.

It was too late for this child, but there were many children still to be saved.

Seeing this little baby with its mother on the market that day was the inspiration that initiated the Miles2Smiles wellfare center. This little angel in the market of Kampala set out the course for many, many children to come.

-            story told by the founder of Miles2Smiles, Catherine Kitongo, re-told by project1uganda.blogspot.no

fredag 19. september 2014

Why Uganda?

Why Uganda?
We´ll let the numbers speak for themselves: 

From: http://uncuganda.blogspot.no

mandag 8. september 2014

Re-use of waste materials: part 1 /Potensialet i søppel: del 1

Bæredyktighet er en svært viktig faktor i dette prosjektet, både sosialt og miljømessig. De langsiktige mulighetene som ligger i å bevisstgjøre lokalbefolkningen i måter å behandle og gjenbruke ting som vanligvis blir sett på som søppel er undervurdert, og var viktig å fokusere spesielt på. En heldig tilfeldighet er at disse materialene ofte er i overflod, gratis og enkle å få tak i i slumområdene som Kalerwe i Kampala. Under oppholde vårt i Kampala passerte vi mange "skrotplasser" på vei til Miles2Smiles senteret hver dag, og vi begynte å tenke på potensialet i å gjenbruke "søppel" til forskjellige elementer i det nye senteret.

Dette kicket i gang en grundig research-prosess på ulike måter å gjenbruke søppel på. Vi  fokuserte på materialer vi hadde observert i nærområdet, som gamle bildekk og glassflasker. Gamle bildekk, for eksempel, viste seg å ha utallige bruksområder etter å ha gjort sin nytte som nettopp bildekk.

Vi samlet all inspirasjon og jobbet oss ned til et collage som representerte alle mulige bruksområder vi ville bruke i vårt prosjekt, - og ideer som også kunne tas i bruk av lokalbefolkningen. Collaget under viser alle bruksområder for bildekk som allerede er implementert i designet vårt for det nye Miles2Smiles senteret!

Ved å dele collaget vårt her håper vi at flere kan bli inspirert til å utforske mulighetene med gjenbruk, - uansett hvor i verden du er!