For years the study program Architecture of the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences participates in construction projects in South Africa and combines self-construction with social commitment. In cooperation with the non-profit organization „buildCollective“, the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences supports the NGO „s2arch“, which is dedicated to the construction of schools in South Africa. Therefore, our project mzambaHALL looks back on many years of experience and on several successful projects.
Ithuba in isiZulu means “chance” or “opportunity” and is the name of two schools and skills centers. The community colleges offer children and teenagers from townships in South Africa – an environment characterized by social disadvantage – exactly this: opportunities for a self-determined life through education.
As a chance or opportunity and under the motto “build together, learn together, this initiative gives our students of architecture the possibility to transmit their creativity and ideas into praxis: from the concept, through the acquisition of financial resources to all phases of planning and execution of the construction project! With their own hands the students, together with a local construction team, create something that initially only existed on paper and in their heads, something in scale 1:1 that suddenly becomes reality. The exchange with the “locals” offers them the opportunity to dip deep into a foreign culture and to get to know the South African life and make friends for a lifetime, far away from their usual social structures. Vice versa, the locals have the chance to get to know European working methods and techniques they are able to implement in their environment later on. In addition, the personal exchange with the students is also an exciting experience for them. SCHAP!*
*[schap!] is welcome or farewell word that is primarily used in South Africa. It also means “awesome”, “great”, “okay” or “everything is fine”.
Header-Foto: Verena Kerschbaumer