By Alistair Coulstock
The second round of Collaborative Future Cambodia – Build Against the Traffick has commenced. Following on from last year’s success, this year looks to be every bit as good.
The programme last year saw the collaboration between not-for-profit organisation RAWimpact, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and volunteers from the construction industry. It combined a university course with a real life project where a team of volunteers built two new homes for two Cambodian families in need, replacing rotting, leaking and unsafe houses.
Last month we started the first lecture at the University of NSW (UNSW) for the course – Sustainable Energy in Developing Countries. An elective that this year has seen over 60 students enrol, almost double the amount from last year. This year’s collaboration between Cundall, UNSW and RAWImpact has a few differences from last year. The location has changed from the target village used last year. Currently there is another Non-Government Organisation (NGO) working consistently in Chaom Trach, so Troy Roberts of RAWImpact felt it was time to provide assistance to another area of desperate need.
Ko Ki village in the Kratie (pronounced Krachay) Province is a small village six hours north east of Phnom Penh. The village comprises of displaced people from other areas of Cambodia. They have been unceremoniously ‘dumped’ at this location with next to nothing but the clothes on their backs and some concrete rings to make some toilets out of.
Therefore although these people have been provided some land to call their own, that is all they have. Infrastructure is non-existent, the houses are very rudimentary make shift huts and there is a school building in the village with only one teacher who attends on a casual basis.
Collaborative Future Cambodia 2014 and the students at UNSW are gearing up to assist these villagers by way of designing a multipurpose building for the villagers to use. The students have been split into groups of seven and so far have been provided the brief, a lecture on Thermal Comfort and Passive Design, Energy in Cambodia and an outline of their course objectives.
Last Tuesday we hooked up a Skype call with Troy in Cambodia for the students to ask pertinent questions about the conditions in the village and about the project and life in Cambodia itself. A raft of background information was unearthed and so many questions from the students that we ran out of time.
A great start to the course and one with so much potential to make a difference to the lives of some of the poorest people in the world.
Here’s looking forward to another year of inspiring designs from the students, culminating in an adventure to Cambodia to build the winning design in January 2015.
Who is up for coming out?
If you are, make contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Students that took the elective last year found the course extremely inspiring and practical (overall CATEI score was 5.6/6) The students particularly noted the advantages of working with a real client, close interaction with industry, and working in collaboration with students from a range of disciplines.
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