Posted by Sarah Bush Brady on Feb 1, 2011
Architecture for Humanity and Benetton have partnered on Facebook Deals and are embracing this cause marketing opportunity together. Benetton will donate two Euros each time a smartphone user checks in to their location in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the UK and claims a Benetton deal.
The proceeds will benefit Architecture for Humanity's Slums Information Development and Resource Centres (SIDAREC) project in Mukuru, a slum settlement outside Nairobi, Kenya. The youth technology and media center will provide community members with access to the Internet, computer and technology training, health clinic services, early childhood development programs, and a community theater. A radio station and recording studio, 99.9 Ghetto FM, will top out the project.
Local architects and contractors are heading up construction efforts in partnership with SIDAREC’s staff. George Onyango, project administrator of SIDAREC, says the youth in the Mukuru settlement face big challenges, such as high unemployment, lack of access to education, drug abuse and high rates of disease. "This upcoming project will address some of these challenges by providing a platform for information dissemination, access to technology and opportunities, thereby increasing employability for youth and women. It will open opportunities for young people to explore their talents and enhance skill for sustainable development," Onyango said.
SIDAREC’s supporters feel an added sense of urgency because a devastating fire burned down the original center in Nairobi, which housed 99.9 Ghetto FM, a library, computer lab, health clinic and after school program. Thousands of children and youth were left without services or a safe place to gather.
Cameron Sinclair, Executive Director of Architecture for Humanity, states that with the recent loss of SIDAREC’s primary facility, the team stayed focused on the project. "We believe that by completing the structure, we’ll fill a void for the youth of Mukuru. They truly are a vast, untapped resource," Sinclair said. "By simply checking into Facebook in Benetton we will open the facility before the year’s end and help build the future leadership of Kenya."
Architecture for Humanity has managed the construction of the center in partnership with SIDAREC through its Ugandan-born Design Fellow Isaac Mugumbule.