Winner of the 2021 call for projects, the Nio Far project, led by the Nio Far association, is a project to create an eco-place in Boucotte-Diambering, Senegal.
This eco-place is entirely built with ecological and reused materials with the long-term objective of providing free training in job-creating sectors, particularly sustainable construction, for young people who have dropped out of school in the region.
As a result of its second call for projects on “sustainable construction in France and Africa”, the setec Foundation has committed to supporting this project in 2022 for the sustainable construction of the training centre and the traditional huts, and the installation of solar and water infrastructures.
« Nio Far » project
The Nio Far project is the work of two women, Sabrina and Lénora, former colleagues now settled in Casamance, Senegal. In 2018, they launched their association Nio Far, “we are together” in Wolof, with the aim of responding to two major problems in the region: young people dropping out of school and the effects of climate change.
The main objective is to build an alternative eco-location offering free training in job-creating sectors in the region, particularly in sustainable construction techniques and solar energy, for young people who have dropped out of school. These professional training courses in promising sectors will offer new opportunities to the beneficiaries. In addition, the association plans to support them in developing a professional project and discovering entrepreneurship. They are all recognised by the Departmental Council.
The project is divided into several phases:
- The construction of the 120 m2 training space
- Installation of solar panels and water infrastructure
- Fitting out the container and bus for the accommodation of future apprentices and trainers
- The manufacture of the geo-concrete bricks for the traditional huts
- The opening of the whole eco-location and the launch of the training courses
Each phase of construction is the subject of a training site to enable the training of skilled labour in its sustainable geoconcrete construction techniques. In 2022, the construction of the eco-place will result in 4 training sites for 20 direct beneficiaries. These training courses last at least one month and are carried out in small groups, to accompany them as closely as possible and to determine their professional project with them.
“The project is built around the development of the youth and their employability in the area”
Discover the concept behind the eco-location:
The “sustainable construction” dimension is an integral part of the project and mission of the Nio Far association. Indeed, in Senegal, most buildings are made of concrete, which is cheap but very energy consuming. The building sector accounts for 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, and in Senegal, 75% of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions come from activities related to this sector
Geoconcrete (compressed earth) construction is a sustainable alternative in direct response to various economic and environmental issues. Geoconcrete is more environmentally friendly as it contains only 10% cement and local red earth. It also provides excellent thermal and sound insulation. The bricks are compressed using a mould and dry in the sun for several days.
How far has the project progressed?
Following the announcement of the results of the 2021 call for projects, the Nio Far association teams were able to start work on the training space.
At the end of February, a filtering point for the well of the eco-place was installed. It now comprehends a functionning well equipped with a pump, that furnishes drinking water to the whole structure.
In July 2022, most of the construction work was done, except for two small annex buildings which are still under construction. Solar panels have been installed and resulted in the training of 6 young people by the local service provider.
The role of the setec Foundation
The setec Foundation is providing financial support to the Nio Far association for the sustainable construction of the training buildings and accommodation, and the installation of water and solar infrastructures.
A rigorous follow-up is also organised throughout the year following the awarding of the prizes, during which reports on the progress of the project are exchanged to ensure the smooth running of the missions and the possible needs of the association.
In addition to its financial support, the setec Foundation places great importance on the establishment of a solid partnership with the structures supported during the development and implementation phases. After discussions with our teams, the members of the Nio Far association were put in contact with earth construction professionals in Senegal.
🔗 To know more about the Nio Far association , visit their website.
🔗 Discover the other winners of the 2021 call for projects here.
Follow the project’s progress on Instagram.