As mentioned in previous posts, a team of Portland-area architects, designers, and engineers from Architects Without Borders-Oregon is providing pro bono design for a master plan of the Wollega Academy, a 40-acre site in Dongoro, Ethiopia, as well as design for several new school and housing buildings.
“Currently rural folks, kids and adults, work all day - back breaking work,” says AWB’s Abbey Dacey, “then come to this campus to study with sixty or seventy others, in a classroom big enough for thirty. It is hot, it is dark and it is ten o’clock in the evening, and they are here because education is everything and this is what is available. A lot of things are needed; Architects Without Borders can at least help out with a school.”
The Wollega Academy expansion in Ethiopia will make it one of the only schools in the region providing full educational curriculum for grades 9-12. AWB-Oregon has joined with local contractor Mike Philips to begin work on a new campus, which features large, day lit, naturally ventilated classrooms, dormitories, and a new library. The new campus will give students of Wollega the opportunity to engage learning in a safe, comfortable setting, virtually unknown in Ethiopia.
The AWB-Oregon chapter is having a fundraiser this Thursday evening at Holocene (1001 SE Morrison St) at 8pm to raise money and drafting supplies (to be shipped to the school's technical drawing teacher) for AWB-Oregon's efforts. Entertainment will be provided by Adrian Orange’s blend of electronic, pop, folk and Brazilian jazz, as well as DJ Anjali’s mix of Indian and other south Asian house music, while a slideshow photos from the Dongoro site plays overhead.
Or, if you’re like me and not a frequent follower of Indian house music (I'm sure it's very nice), you can always just make a donation to AWB-Oregon. And of course if you’re an architect, how about a little design work to save the world?
Actually, now that I think about it, we've got an Ethiopia fundraiser, and a group of musicians: Hey, why not a rendition of "We Are The World" for old time's sake? Or at least "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Maybe if people don't start giving to AWB-OR within a prescribed amount of time, I can start hollering like Ray Charles: "Come on, now, let me hear ya!" Or grunt like Springsteen passing kidney stones: "There's a choice we're makin', and we're savin' our own lives." Indeed.