Posted by on Jan 30, 2009

Related program: 2007 Open Architecture Challenge

Sadly, SIDAREC's first resource center in Pumwani, the basis for the program of the new SIDAREC Technology and Media Lab in Mukuru, was destroyed on the evening of January 28, 2009 in an electrical blaze. Thankfully, no one was hurt at the center, but very little remains. They have lost a tremendous set of resources, including the entire adult and childrens' library collection, all the computers, their meeting hall, as well as the equipment for the community radio station, Ghetto 99.9 FM. Our thoughts are with SIDAREC, and we are redoubled in our efforts to complete the new Mukuru center as soon as possible, so the organization may have a new base of operations.

The SIDAREC Community Technology and Media Lab at Mukuru kwa Njenga was one of the challenges from the 2007 AMD Open Architecture Challenge, focusing on the problem of Digital Inclusion. The winning design team, The Global Studio, of Seattle, recently completed the schematic design drawings of the project and we are moving forward with the working drawings to build the new resource center as soon as possible. For more information, please visit the project page

Top left: What used to be SIDAREC's beautiful resource centre.
Top right: Children rummaging through the debris from what used to be a library, radio station and pre-school.
Bottom left: Children salvaging whatever they can read from the burnt down resource centre.
Bottom right: Children pondering what next after the library got burnt down

Related Program

2007 Open Architecture Challenge

The 2007 Open Architecture Challenge invited architects, designers and others to develop sustainable designs for technology facilities in communities that lack access to computing power.