The design was made in Gambia together with the local community in an experimental design process, where the aim was to test different ways of building with local materials in the local context. The main construction material is earth, and the walls are built with adobe mud bricks and rammed earth. The roof is built using the Nubian vault technique that requires only mud bricks and no wood, steel or cement.
The construction of the school is part of the school's education. The dormitory is being built by a workshop called Build with Gambia, and the team consists of a mix of local and international participants. Locals and internationals learn from each other as we explore different ways of building with earth in the local context.
All international participants are volunteers who get no compensation. International workshop participants are also required to pay for their food and accommodation and to give a 400 € donation to the project. This money goes entirely to project costs (materials, tools and local labour), but it is not enough to cover the costs of the whole project.
As one of the goals of the project is to use local materials as much as possible, the money used for the project also stays in Gambia. The biggest cost is salaries paid to our local participants, who have families to support and thus can't volunteer a lot of time to the project. A large portion of the money thus stays in Karsi Kunda village, supporting the community that has made the project possible by welcoming the international volunteers.
You can find regular project updates on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/buildwithgambia