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Ecosa has been asked by Peter Gbelia, the Executive Director of the Empowerment Society, to create a master plan for a sustainable intervention in the village of Duayee in Liberia, Africa. This plan is intended to develop a model approach to sustaining the culture, environment, and economy of the Liberian people.
The village we will be working with is Duayee located near the Yah river. The goal is to create Local Economic Development (LED) by designing a system where more food is produced (improved agro-techniques, seeds, irrigation, fertilizers, fish farm, swamp rice), the surplus can be sold at market creating economic growth, and revenue invested back into human capital and community infrastructure.
This is a challenging project in as much as it is based in a non-western culture and needs to respond to needs that are very different to US expectations. Prior to the start of this design, each participant was required to read the report and proposal provided by the Empowerment Project and the Millennium Development Report. The goal of this project was to research alternative development patterns, materials, social and economic systems to create an integrated design that includes all elements of sustainability from materials to permaculture, energy to food supplies. ECOSA is proposing a vocational school as the best way to illustrate, educate about, and build a truly sustainable village. Through the vocational school, Duayee will be able to educate its population and create a skilled work force by allowing every project in the village to be a learning experience that will expand upon the village's knowledge and skill sets.
Vocational school programs will include:
BUILDING RETROFIT AND NEW CONSTRUCTION | Appropriate Technology, Rainwater Harvesting System
WORKING WITH THE LAND | Earthworks for Rainwater Catchment, Food Forests and Polyculture, Composting, Humanure, and Methane Harvesting
CRAFT INDUSTRIES | Paper Making, Print Making and Publishing
LEARNING FROM DUAYEE : Researcher in Residency Program
In conclusion, ECOSA has determined that a vocational school, through its building and use of space, could be a vital training opportunity for villagers, as well as the kick start to multiple industries and businesses that could bring the village much needed economic support, as well as provide funding to the school. Through the inclusion of tradition in the classes, inspired learning and creativity will take place, as well as building in the respect that these traditions deserve. When the learning process is integrated with physical projects for the community, whose difference the villagers and students can see, the lessons stay in place and inspire even more solutions, based on local knowledge. The local industries and jobs that are created from this model will be more stable than ... http://www.ecosainstitute.org/projects/model-sustainable-village.html