Education against all odds – students building a school in Kenya

​Achyut Siddu aimed through his master’s thesis to contribute to sustaining childhood education in a context with an ongoing pandemic. Achyut also started a crowdfunding campaign for realizing the building of the school.
In Kenya, a child is orphaned every two minutes. That is 700 children every day. A third of them are orphaned due to HIV/Aids.

– The big question that arises is, how do we achieve a sustained development of education essential for an effective response against the despair of poverty under conditions where a pandemic is destructive of the capacities essential for that response, says Achyut Siddu. In the master’s thesis, Education against all odds - Liberating learning from the circle of despair and hope, Achyut describe that his goal, apart from strengthening existing networks of change in the educational world, also was to upgrade the education infrastructure of an existing school called Future Hope Academy, in Obunga informal settlements, Kisumu county, Kenya. 

The project worked in close collaboration with the master's course called Reality Studio (within the master’s programme Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability) involving a couple of student groups. Sena Akcicek and Bane Alsabawi worked with enhancing the microclimatic conditions of the building and Oskar Lilo and Nikola Žuchová worked with the classroom furniture design. Additionally, Alessandro Howe, a biologist, also contributed to the project by building an organic farming infrastructure to help enhance the nutrition value of the schools' existing feeding program.

To fund the project Achyut started a crowdfunding campaign titled "Help a 100, count to 100" and he also applied for funding from Architects without borders (Sweden). A sum of 4 500 dollars was collected which was used for the execution of the project.

See some photos from the building of the school in the slideshow above.

Examiner: Dag Tvilde, Professor, Chalmers University of Technology, the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, tvilde@chalmers.se

Supervisor: Emilio Da Cruz Brandao, Artistic teacher and Director of master’s programme Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability/MPDSD, Chalmers University of Technology, the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering,​ brandao@chalmers.se

Text: Lotta Särnbratt
Photo: Achyut Siddu 

See also the project report from the master’s course Reality Studio 2017 Playocracy - Where a child can be a child. After participating in that course Achyut Siddu decided to return to Kenya this year to carry through his master’s thesis.

Published: Tue 19 Jun 2018. Modified: Wed 20 Jun 2018