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Hostels for girls, Iringa region, Tanzania
Iringa region, Tanzania
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Location:
Iringa region, Tanzania
Category:
education
Phase:
under construction
Updated:
19 January 2023
Through education, girls acquire the capacity for better livelihoods. In rural Tanzania, however, going to school may be a challenge: some girls must walk up to 30 km to reach their school. For this purpose, safe and well-designed hostels for girls are needed. Ukumbi NGO has worked together with Lyra in Africa, to design and build dormitories for girls in secondary schools. Four dormitories are now built and the fifth is under construction.
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Introduction
Through education, girls acquire the capacity for better livelihoods. In rural Tanzania, however, going to school may be a challenge: some girls must walk up to 30 km to reach their school. The daily journey or living far from home alone at a young age can get dangerous, with serious consequences: pregnancy is considered a valid reason for expelling a girl from school — which terminates her education. For this purpose, safe and well-designed hostels for girls are needed. 
Ukumbi NGO and its’ founding architects Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman have worked together with the NGO Lyra in Africa, to design and build dormitories for girls in secondary schools in Iringa region in Tanzania. The first executed dormitory opened in October 2018 in Nyang’oro, the second in Ilambilole 2020, the third in Ifwagi 2021, and the fourth opened in February 2022 in Maduma. Lyra in Africa is doing the fundraising and the construction of the hostel facilities, whereas Hollmén Reuter Sandman (HRS) Architects have provided the architectural design. The architects have mostly worked pro bono and done fundraising for their travels and accomodation. The four hostels are all executed as variations of the same design solution and built of interlocking stabilized soil blocks (ISSB). The communities have provided the materials for the foundation and participated in the construction of the hostels.
The opening of the first dormitory

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Impact
The objective of the hostel design was to create a model for low-cost hostel buildings that would be socially and environmentally sustainable. The architecture needed to be culturally appropriate and create a safe home for the girls. The architects collaborated with the girls to create the design that resulted in an atrium building for 96 girls with personal rooms to fit 8 girls each, and space where they could engage in homework and hang out together. 
HRS Architects aim
 with their architecture at empowering those who have little possibilities to engage in their societies. They connect their projects with
 local NGO’s, to facilitate gender equality and inclusiveness, to promote the self- esteem of oppressed people and provide them with chances for a better future. The group emphasizes that including the users in the design process while designing with empathy makes architecture a means for empowerment. Their building projects respond to actual needs and are prioritizing functionality. The architects believe in innovations by investigation, where the landscape, sensitivity towards materials and site-specific interventions are the means for a new sustainable architecture. They introduce recycling and locality as a part of the construction. When arriving in a new location, they start by investigating local use of space, vernacular architecture, and the availability and know-how to construct with local building materials. The goal of the work is to ensure that the buildings are so well adapted that they continue to function as designed long after the architects have left. 
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Core team
Maria Spink from the NGO Lyra in Africa https://lyrainafrica.org contacted Ukumbi NGO http://www.ukumbi.org and its architects Hollmén Reuter Sandman https://hollmenreutersandman.com to design dormitories for girls in the Iringa region in 2016. Lyra in Africa wished for culturally adapted, climate smart and sustainable solutions at a low cost. Since then four dormitories have been built and in every version the model has been developed further. Today there is a discussion that this new model designed by HRS Architects would be used in other parts of Tanzania as well. The process has involved local knowhow such as the architects Fares Tarimo and Humphrey Kalanje and the main builder Pato Ninje. The building teams and experts consist of locals. All the projects have not been properly photographed yet but Raymond Kasela has helped with photographing the Maduma hostel. The local team from Lyra in Africa implementing the construction consists of Godfrey Kilawe, Roselyne Mariki and Iluminatha Kiponda. These are just a small part of all the experts, local government and school representatives that have been involved in this project until this day.
Design workshop

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Image gallery
Maduma hostel exterior

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Girls doing homework in Maduma Hostel

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Construction of the foundation

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Girls hanging out together in Maduma hostel

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Girl entering the hostel room

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First executed hostel in Nyan'goro

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Girls in the second hostel in Ilambilole

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Window detail

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Detail of the bottle wall

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Doing homework

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Courtyard

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ISSB bricks as a ventilated wall

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Ifwagi hostel aerial view

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Girls entering the hostel room

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Technical drawings
Plan

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Section

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Help bring our project to life!

There are no updates yet.

Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
At the moment the fifth hostel is being built. The need for more hostels in the area is big. Lyra in Africa NGO and Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects wish that the model can be developed and more dormitories will be built in the near future. Both Lyra in Africa and Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects are doing fundraising to be able to continue the successful projects. The fifth hostel is still in need for some additional funds for the equipment such as an incinerator for the menstrual waste and furniture.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
85% funding already raised
100% expertise already found
80% materials / equipment already found
100% builders already found
Finance: € 35,000
We have most of the funding to execute the fifth hostel but we are still in need for some additional funds for the equipment such as an incinerator for the menstrual waste and furniture.
  • incinerator and furniture
35,000
Stuff: Equipment & tools
Incinerator and furniture
Help bring our project to life!
Location
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