After a trip to the Sudan (including Darfur) in 2005 with the intention of doing a study on rape and war, the founder of Homes for Sudan decided that safe housing was better for the displaced and traumatized people rather than an academic study. What better way to recover from the trauma of war than to know that there is a secure, fire proof, bullet proof, and flood proof home in a familiar place. Upon returning to the US, HS4S’s founder consulted with Nader Khalili, the creator of ‘superadobe’ and the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture’s director (www.Calearth.org). Nader agreed to partner with Homes for Sudan on the condition that HS4S’s founder come to Calearth and learn to build the houses herself. She did! Founding board members, architects, and patrons joined in enthusiastic support.
Though Nader is with us only in spirit now, the HS4S and Calearth trained architects have built 5 superadobe structures and taught hundreds of architects, engineers, students, and internally displaced people how to build superadobe houses. As a newer vision aimed at sustainability, HS4S is planning training programs for students in entrepreneurship and leadership in addition to technical and superadobe training so they can start their own businesses to build affordable housing in the Sudan. Low cost, secure houses are increasingly a need in all areas of the Sudan.
- Houses are environmentally friendly and climate appropriate.
- Structures are fire proof, bullet proof and flood proof.
- The structures are built with materials used in combat areas – sandbags, barbed wire and cement.
- The technique can be quickly learned.
- The houses and workshops were done with volunteer labor and the assistance of the locals as well as finance from HS4S. HS4S spent a total of less than 100,000 for 3 structures and multiple workshops in the Sudan.
- HS4S has set up partnerships with US and Sudanese universities for training programs.
- HS4S has a local NGO partner for working in Darfur.