Designed in partnership with the local community - who contributed land, time and ideas to its development - the kindergarten was built by the local workforce with help from a team of volunteers from Arup and Davis Langdon. Members of the community were involved throughout the project – to give them the skills to grow and use sustainable materials and manage projects.
The project involves the innovative use of sustainable materials, such as coconut fibre for sound insulation, a cement alternative derived from organic material and stabilised soil blocks. The design allows rainwater to be harvested, optimises daylight and natural ventilation, and reduces the internal temperature of the building.
"The opening of the Dwabor kindergarten marks the first step in improving access to early years education in Ghana. Until 2007, there was no formal kindergarten education in the country. This translated into a lack of investment which has resulted in significant shortfalls in facilities, trained teaching staff, and learning materials.
“Our prototype building has the potential to not only change the outlook for the community of Dwabor, but also to meet the government’s ambitions for education, transferred skills and lasting livelihoods. The next stage of the journey for us is preparing for the roll-out of further facilities and working with local teachers to enhance their ability to deliver the government curriculum.”
+ Dominic Bond, development director at Sabre Charitable Trust
Local community partnership
“When working in a context like this, it’s critical to take account of the resources locally available, and consider how they can be used innovatively. With the input of local people, we’ve created a model which can now be adapted throughout the region to vastly improve access to education. The project demonstrates how global design expertise and local knowledge can combine to create a facility with the potential to change the lives of this and future generations.”
+ Jo da Silva, Arup’s head of international development
“This project has been a hugely valuable and productive partnership for all those involved. We’ve learnt about doing things differently technically – coming up with innovative solutions to unique issues - but also about how to work with a variety of people, in new and challenging environments. There has been the opportunity for involvement on this project for so many on various different levels within the firms – and those that have had the opportunity to work on the project in Ghana have found the experience incredibly rewarding and enlightening. There’s a powerful story in this project in that we’re not just churning out formulaic institutional buildings – we’re helping people to develop their lives and to help others.”
+ Ben Agyekum, partner at Davis Langdon
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