During the course of the construction of the CEM Kamanar work, we realized that there was a certain degree of ignorance of the primary trades related to the main economic activities in the surroundings of the Casamance region. And therefore there was no transmission of knowledge to the new apprentices: the youth. This causes a lack of opportunities and encourages emigration to large cities or even to Europe, stagnating nearby economies. The main objective is to generate local and circular economies, through the implementation of new projects that are innovative in and that activate family businesses, generating small businesses that stimulate the economy of the area.
The project with which we are going to solve this social problem is the Professional Training Centre Bajankusoor, and it’s being developed by the dawoffice architecture studio. It is planed with the same management structure as the CEM Kamanar. ‘Bajankusoor’ is also the name that traditionally receives the place where the local wise men of these areas of southern Senegal sit down to think, discuss and make decisions that structure the course of society. It is the People’s Forum.
Currently Thionk Essyl is a region that lives mainly from agriculture, the main crops being rice, corn and tropical fruits such as mangoes. Traditionally, the economy has functioned autonomously, based on the cultivation of rice and supplemented by the collection of fruits and fishing. Much of the work falls on women, who are responsible for transporting water, rice or firewood in the traditional way. This self-sufficient operation, based even on exchanges and payments-in-kind, means that there is a lack of shops and artisans, which also means that there is a large part of unemployed population, especially men.
Our first project in Thionk Essyl, the CEM Kamanar, was a secondary school that was born as a response to the overcrowding of schools that existed in the city. Since its inception, the foundation has been involving the local population in new projects, with the people of the city themselves being employed as masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, gardeners and other profiles required for the construction of the school. .
This philosophy revealed a problem for us; the very simple economy of Thionk Essyl did not encourage the apprenticeship of trades by the population. That is why we started the “FemEscola” project, which means “Let’s make a school” and which means that the construction process of the CEM itself is a school of trades for those who work in it.
The construction of the CEM trained many people in trades to which they later dedicated themselves professionally, which is why, added to the boom in eco-construction in the region and the increase in population, we consider that a vocational training center in Thionk Essyl will have a great positive impact on the development of the region.
In the same way that happened with the CEM, the very construction of the center is going to be a process of training and job creation for locals that participate in the construction. The same reasons that led us to use clay in the CEM make us continue to use this material in Bajankusoor, although we will not use it in the same way. This time, hemispherical domes are chosen, a geometry that evokes the vernacular architecture of the region and that also does not need any auxiliary structure during its construction, something that was necessary in the CEM, which minimizes the use of wood during construction. construction site.
The school will provide training in different areas, from carpentry to electromechanics. Beyond the different trades that are taught, there is a transversal idea throughout the project, which is to teach how to build and work in a way that is respectful of the environment, bioclimatic, taking advantage of what is local. This type of training has enormous potential for economic development and is a trend throughout the world. In addition to giving technical education, classes will be taught in transversal areas that directly favor the integration of students into the labor market; such as entrepreneurship, accounting, SME management, professional use of the French language, among others.
Each of these training lines will have its own workshop inside a dome. Some of these domes will intersect with each other to create different types of spaces according to needs. A large platform with minimal contact with the ground will group all the volumes together while setting back its shape to respect the existing trees on the site.
The project is based on a common central space, which articulates the practices of all the training workshops; is the agora. It is understood as a multidisciplinary space, in which the knowledge acquired and tools available in the workshops will converge. It will also serve as an exhibition space and a multipurpose room.
Around the Agora the different workshops are developed, each one equipped with the necessary material for their own educational development, and with space needs appropriate to the activities to be developed:
Lastly, a common block has been designed that complements the proper functioning of the training center and has theoretical classrooms, a computer room, an administrative and teaching area, a space for installations and toilets.
From the foundation, the study of needs for the development and construction of the project is carried out. From management of funds, employees and volunteers to contacts and agreements with other entities.
Joint work with local people is essential, which is why the foundation employs a construction manager and a local project manager to supervise the execution of the project, which will be carried out by another actor, as we will tell later.
The foundation has the support of Teknia both financially and operationally. Teknia is a Spanish multinational dedicated to the manufacture of automotive components. The company manufactures metal and plastic components through a variety of technologies at 21 factories in and with a presence in 12 countries.
It is a company committed to supporting the environments in which it operates, as well as in areas of the world that are particularly vulnerable, with a focus on improving education.
For this reason, it collaborates with Foundawtion in its projects in Senegal, making a large annual financial contribution and actively getting involved in the projects, going beyond mere patronage, so that the results of the collaboration between Foundawtion and Teknia, added to the efforts of workers and collaborators Senegalese are enormously fruitful.
One of the key contributions of the Teknia staff in the Bajankusoor project is that they will offer their knowledge as an industrial group to the training provided at the center. In addition, it will offer the center’s students the possibility of carrying out internships in one of its production units around the world.
Foundawtion will be supported by a local construction company that will carry out the execution of the work under the supervision of the foundawtion project management and construction management team.
The construction company, being a local company, will be able to work in full fiscal and labor activity in the field of its construction activity. That is why the figure that will allow new labor contracts to be made directly for the work.
With this company and with the follow-up of Foundawtion, we can ensure that there is an increase in the quality of the project’s work contracts; both in workers who have to be trained and hired again, and in the improvement of working conditions of pre-existing jobs in the construction company. On the other hand, all the staff hired at the construction company will be trained in eco-construction techniques; which is where the global constructive trends are moving.
The construction company will be in charge of the execution, the hiring of personnel and the possible necessary machinery, all of it complying with the requirements established by foundawtion in the contract.
The prototype of one of the warehouses is practically finished.
This prototype is nothing more than one of the volumes or domes that will constitute the building. Through its construction, the foundations, the composition of the blocks, the type of rigging used, the shape of the windows, the intersections between domes and other variables are tested.