A positive impact on local communities is also crucial when it comes to being truly sustainable. And together you always achieve more when you have the right partners by your side who share the same values. That’s why WICONA has decided to cooperate with the Non-Governmental Organisation WEbuilding, an international group of architects. Hand in hand, we want to support and ensure sustainable access to education in areas where children need it the most.
WEbuilding is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 by an international group of architects and powered by committed and highly-qualified volunteers.
WEbuilding aims to support development projects in the Global South by applying a sustainable approach to construction and project planning. Together with experienced local NGOs, they strive to positively impact the quality of life in these under-resourced communities and to show that a more environmentally friendly architecture approach can have a far-reaching positive effect. WEbuilding supports with interdisciplinary knowledge, an agile network, reliable partners and many years of experience in the construction industry. This results in individual architectural solutions that benefit the individual, the local community and society as a whole.
Access to education is an important key to a functioning society.
WEbuilding’s projects contribute significantly to this – and offer people very concrete benefits:
- Education increases the chances of a self-determined life - free of poverty
- Improving health through school meals and clean drinking water
- Additional jobs for companies and local helpers: inside
- Knowledge transfer on sustainable materials and building practices
- Promotion of social commitment and social cohesion
- Improving the quality of life
Since WICONA recognizes the values and ambitions of WEbuilding, we have signed a 3 years agreement with WEbuilding in order to cooperate on many projects and in different way.
Our joint project: A school in Ranja-Valley in Haiti
At WICONA, during a three-month long internal challenge, our employees have run, walked, cycled to reach the goal to contribute a donation of 20.000€. By covering the distance of a trip to the moon and back, their efforts and commitment will enable WEbuilding to build a classroom for a school in Haiti as part of our partnership.
The project in Haiti is the construction of a school for the children in Grand’Anse department, which is prone to natural disasters. Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods are major threats to its population (UNDP 2015; DPC 2016). Disasters have devastated it in the past. Around 44% of hurricanes that visited Haiti hit Grand’Anse department second to Sud department (at 59%). Grand’Anse has other concerns that pertain to environmental hazards, deforestation and epidemics, including cholera, HIV/ADIS and tuberculosis (Cordaid 2013, Government 2010).
The children living in Ranja Valley do not have the chance to go to school because there's no school where they live. In order to attend school, they have to cross a river which puts their lives in danger every day, mainly when the river is flooding.
WEbuilding plans to build a primary school with six classrooms and toilet units. Each classroom will accommodate 30 pupils. This represents, over ten years, 450 children benefitting from the school. The approximate budget of the project is 75.000€. WICONA’s contribution will help to build an entire classroom for 30 children. The construction will start in spring 2022 and should end in autumn 2022.
Long-term goal: Change the brief
But WICONA wants to go beyond...
In addition to participating in the Haiti project, WICONA will support WEbuilding in other future projects. These projects do not only consist of building schools but also of putting partners, clients and suppliers in touch with WEbuilding. Therefore, we warmly welcomed WEbuilding at our NEXT studio in Frankfurt.
Partnering with WEbuilding and gathering between all employees to go towards a more sustainable future showed how collaboration can lead to greater things. Reaching high-scale impacts on society and on our future can only be done with high-scale mobilization.
Our sustainability journey can only be done by working together with employees, suppliers, customers, local organizations and NGOs towards a better society. Partnering is the only way to challenge our market, our neighbors, our governments to build differently, more responsibly – to change the brief and build beyond tomorrow.
Photo (left to right): Ivan Rališ (Architect and Co-founder of WEbuilding), Florian Schlummer (Architect and member of WEbuilding) and Ralf Seufert (Vice President North Europe, Hydro Building Systems)