In 2015 we undertook the construction which will not only be an orphanage but also an Education Centre for all the children of the village! A worthwhile project which opened for us wide perspectives; our biggest project to date!
THE STATE OF THE CENTER BEFORE THE WORKS
The buildings which used to constitute the centre were made of bamboo; they were put up by the people from the village. This type of structure is made to last a short time, 2 to 3 years on average.
The buildings were all at the end of their lives: the roofs leaked, the beams were deteriorating, they would not be able to remain standing for long.
They were made like the soil which immediately becomes mud in the rainy season. The air comes straight into this type of building: in winter it can become 5° in the children’s dormitories and the big differences in temperature during the day are carriers of disease.
We destroyed all the bamboo buildings in order to construct a large building of nearly 1000M², in part on 2 levels. This building will unite the “almost entirety” of the rooms in a children’s home as such a building needs: a large refectory, a kitchen, dormitories and washrooms for girls and boys, an office, a bedroom for the overnight supervisor and an activity area on the first floor. .
We made the decision to make one large building as it simplifies the construction but, more importantly, the supervision. The children will not have to go outside to go from one room to another, as at the moment, which is often made difficult in the rainy season.
We also going to build another building with individual bedrooms for staff who have to stay on the premises night and day. To separate their living quarters from the main building will allow them to preserve their privacy and to make them feel “at home”.
We have opted for a building so-called “earth houses”. They are made with the earth from the area of construction; this type of building is relatively widespread in Thailand and has multiple advantages:
• Small construction costs: all the walls, coatings and other coverings require practically no material investment.
• Adequate thermal insulation: These earth houses conserve the heat during the winter and stay cool during the summer. A decisive advantage bearing in mind the climatic conditions of the region.
• Free forms: Since the earth is very malleable, all rounded contours and others are possible. Equally, shelves can be hollowed directly in the walls. By adding pigments, the final finish will be very pleasing and well suited to children of a young age.
• A strength similar to a building constructed in concrete: the technique has been refined over the course of time to make these constructions resistant to earthquakes, flooding etc.
We have been seriously held back by the rainy season which has been very intense this year. Contractors not wanting to turn out, it has been very difficult for us to find workers since May, and we have received little help from the villagers. The work has therefore been held back, Nevertheless, we have finished the main walls of all the buildings.
At the end of August, we have at last met a contractor agreeing to work in this region. Up to the present we have hired ourselves local workmen to supervise the work. We have, with them, from then on, managed to put in place the roof on the staff building.
The “education” part, the central part of the main building, has just been started. We have signed an inclusive contract for the whole project. The work is going to last about two months.
Having decided that the life conditions of the children are very unsatisfactory, we have moved them to a guest house 5 minutes away from the school. We hope to be able to be able to re-integrate them from back from here at the end of the year. This temporary lodging has been financed for 3 months by Le Secours Populaire.
This project with an estimated cost of about 100,000€ could not have seen the light of day without the support of Le Secours Populaire, the Abbey Pierre Foundation, Air France Foundation, EEFF, the Government housing bank, BCTFN and the German Embassy.
Together let us give to each child the means to build their own life.
Thanks to all!