This weekend saw over twenty BRAC university students and their lecturers arrive in Benkali to stay with SAFEs Founder and Director and learn about rural construction work. The architectural students were set a short term project as part of their Rural Architecture model. They were sent into the field in small groups and given just 12 hours to find a problem and determine a low cost and effective solution. Presentations were given be each group and great success was had – gates were designed, and constructed, walls were repaired and groups worked closely with families in the villages to survey and respond to their needs.
As part of the programme the participants also had the chance to visit local land marks, view the current and finished SAFE projects and enjoy an evening’s entertainment with the SAFE song team and Azit Roy singing informative songs about construction and having a rhymed and comical debate to traditional music about the ability of man to function without woman and vice versa. As with all workshops Azit’s family opened their home to those interested and spent a lot of time and effort organising, cooking and looking after the students, which was very much appreciated.
All of the students expressed their happiness at being able to see the things they have been studying in real life situations and also too great interest in the research projects being carried out by international volunteers on the bizla tree additive for mud plaster, construction of a sand/cement tile making machine and treatment of bamboo with a borax and boric acid solution in order to prolong it’s lifetime.