New community workshop in Burundi
Design Fellow Elena Ghibaudo lives in Burundi and is working on the Kabondo Football for Hope Centre, Last month Elena gathered the children of Kabondo for a design workshop to discuss the outdoor spaces around the future community center. She tells us about the workshop below. "The second “Football for Hope” workshop was organized on Wednesday, the 18th of December at the Belgian school situated in the Kabondo district. It was aiming for an active participation of children attending Kabondo’s schools and street children, future beneficiaries of the Centre, to discuss some design choices. The workshop entitled “Participatory planning for outdoor spaces of Kabondo Football for Hope Centre” has provided the first part of educational activities such as social games to promote the integration of children belonging to different social realities, and a second phase of project participatory planning. representational models Every child received a drawing representing the plan of the center and the surrounding spaces. Four corrugated paper models had been made for a better understanding of the spaces. For each model the children could play with the position of the building, the relationship of the structure to the football pitch and their distance from the river and the street. Imaginations ignited as the children drew more trees, swings and swimming pools and figured out ways to enliven the site. Each student was then given the spotlight to present their proposal and then encouraged to use the model as a tool to move things around explaining their ideas. Elena working on the plans with Giriyuja's staff and the kids The most important issue raised by the various project proposals was security. Many children had predicted a fence around the entire perimeter of the center with only a single access controlled by a guard. This center aims aims to reverse this common sense of fear by creating a welcoming place where kids are encouraged to work together to break down the barriers that exist today. Other children were sensitive about the proximity of the river and proposed productive vegetative "barriers" to limit the risk of flooding. Most agreed the bleachers should be located on the east side on the site, and the sports path following the perimeter of the site. Then a lot of imagination came to light when brainstorming the addition of very unique spaces like a dancing hall, playroom, bicycle space, gardens and many trees. And of course a recurring element for the outdoor space was the swing... Who knows maybe we'll find some swings to include by the pitch for the opening?" Getting inspiration The workshop was a great success. The children were really engaged and interested in the subject, and developed a real a sense of ownership for the future site. Once the construction is complete, and we say goodbye, the center will be theirs. If the children of Kabondo are involved from the beginning, the future success of the community center will be ensured. Thanks Elena for all the hard work!