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introduction Edit

Vernacular architecture in Tanzania is quickly disappearing due to modern influences. Years ago Maasai were forced into sedentary lifestyle after living as nomads for many generations. The building culture is rapidly changing and the search for sustainable construction is imposing itself even more. The traditional house made of wood sticks and mud is often replaced by burned brick. Whereas sun dried mud is sensitive to water and demands a lot of maintenance, the burned bricks are strong and easy to use. This new popular building material unfortunately results in environmental damages, mainly due to illegal deforestation, in the already semi-arid environment, since a lot of fire wood is used to burn the bricks.

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image gallery Edit

the core team Edit

C-re-aid is a young organization, working with young people. The team exists out of motivated employees, volunteers, students and interns. The organization provides a lot of training for young architects and engineers and values highly the diversity of the team; therefore we are an equal mix of local and international members.

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what is still needed and why Edit

A needed supply list will be provided once more details of the project are clear.

Design input:

C-re-aid works together with motivated students and interns architecture and will hire additional architects to work on the design of the projects once the tree planting program is set up. 

Work force:

Workforce will be provided by the community, who have already shown interest in the project. Social engagement will increase throughout the first phase, our first actual project in the Maasai village: a women centre constructed with burned bricks, where we display different design possibilities followed by an awareness seminar. The final step of the construction will be the plantation of threes around the construction, in order to restore the ecological balance.

Funding support:

Funding support is required not only to purchase the needed materials (possibly seeds), but also to pay the logistic and administrational costs that come with each project. We need diverse resources to organize workshops with the local community, to ensure on the long-term the success of the project. Furth more funding will be needed for more inspirational community projects that improve the manufacturing of the bricks, that improve the construction techniques and that display the possibilities of the burned bricks. The first project was funded by C-re-aid and student Laia Fernandez through fundraising. A total amount of 1980 euro was gathered and spend on the project.
A detailed amount of funding needed for the continuation of the project will be communicated once all actors are contacted, advice from external professionals is gathered and all work is identified.


C-re-aid will provide technical design, tools to engage the community and mediation between the different actors.
The project will be established in close cooperation with the local governance of the Maasai village. First, we need to bring awareness of deforestation towards the local governance. Together with these local leaders we communicate our strategy to the community.
C-re-aid will use its experience, expertise and good connection with the local leaders to manage the project, this will be key in the success. The common goal of our organization to create a sustainable building culture will be guarded by us throughout the entire process.

C-re-aid is required to hire several experts to assist the team during the process. First, we need a botanic expert to analyze the different species of local trees that we can grow in the Maasai village, considering initial costs, maintenance and productivity. Second, a marketing strategy is required in order to encourage and convince the local community of the necessity of the project and its goals. We also need to establish a business plan together with the local governance to guarantee the future of this project.

impact Edit

A community project by the community.

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external links Edit


Project details
Project name: A tree for a house
Description: Women center as inspiration for use of locally mud bricks
Category: meeting place
Design: Nancy Arbogast, Laia Garcia Fernandez
Consultants: Samantha Welby, Freya Candel
Building status: proposal (Buildify submission)
Construction period: 9/8/2016 - 10/9/2016
Needs: supply, design input, work force, funding support, advice
Location: Maji Moto, Tanzania
Coordinates: 3°27'45.4'' S, 36°53'24.9'' E
Tags: big ideas, climate, community, mud brick, empowerment
Project ID: 614
Published: 16 September 2016
Last updated: 12 October 2016
(images have individual licenses)
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