As another year draws to a close, we look back with a smile – and are also proud of what we have achieved. In the last twelve months, we have experienced not only remarkable events but also harrowing moments: at the beginning of June, we received the terrible news that a fire had broken out in the slum in Kibera. Many families lost their homes, an area of 300 m² with 160 houses was destroyed. At that time we did not know that the number of fires would increase more than average in July and August. What was immediately clear to us, however, was that we wanted to support where we could: We started with food distributions to the affected people. At the same time, we started planning the reconstruction of the shelters and collecting donations. In the meantime, thanks to your financial commitment, nine of the 14 planned housing units with our TwistBlocks have been completed and are already occupied. We are very happy that the families can now settle in according to their needs. A milestone on the way to our vision: “Change from within – you always have to start somewhere.” Not feasible without you, we are extremely grateful for every single donation.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners and supporters once again. We would like to highlight PERI, our technology partner as well as one of the largest manufacturers of formwork and scaffolding systems internationally.
This year we won the German Innovation Award 2021 with each other, with our manufactory and our construction system being honored in the Building & Elements category. The German Innovation Award nominates cross-industry products and solutions that particularly stand out from previous solutions and create added value.
Our cooperation agreement has been extended until the end of 2022 and secures our collaboration in the coming year. PERI starts mass production of TwistBlock formwork at its site in South Africa. This is an important milestone for us, as we want to establish new manufactories that we can now equip with sufficient formwork. This will create new jobs at the various sites and once again brings us closer to our goal of sustainably improving living conditions in the slums of this world. We also have the construction contract for another two-story school in the Kibera slum. Construction will start in February.
In addition to new projects and cooperation partners, we gained another employee for our team at the beginning of the year. Claire du Plessis, our architect, comes from South Africa and brings her expertise to all our projects. She is currently in her home country and will spend the coming months getting to know our workshop in Nairobi, Kenya and overseeing the start of construction of the new school on site. Claire would also like to use her connections with her fellow South Africans to find an operator for our planned manufactory in Cape Town.
With the help of Go Fishnet Project Kisumu – Kenya and Habitat for Humanity, another factory is being built in Ahero/Kisumu in western Kenya. As soon as all planning is completed and all permits are obtained, the construction will start. We are very excited and look forward to another workshop forming the basis for many future projects.
A project we are also very proud of is the library for the Gifted Hands School in the immediate vicinity of our manufactory in Kibera slum/Nairobi, which was completed in December. Together with KDI, the school management and the teachers, the building was planned and then implemented by us. The students have put the rooms into operation with great enthusiasm.
In addition to all the larger projects, we were particularly taken with a local small business owner in Kibera: he bought our TwistBlocks to build his own kiosk with. A project like this proves that our vision can become reality in so many different places and shows once again that much is possible.
Our factory in Kibera has produced about 24,000 bricks over the last two years. At some point, we had to expect wear and tear on the first equipment and formwork, our “TwistBlock Moulds”. Thankfully, we received a donation of a new sturdy vibratory plate from the company Berger Maschinenbau and were able to finance a new concrete mixer through our donations. Currently, our employees in the manufactory can only produce 50 bricks per day. In the spring of next year, we will finally be able to significantly increase the number of our formworks and thus significantly increase production.
With your donations we can continue to provide the 712 students of the Global One School with daily meals and take an enormous burden off their families. Unfortunately, it is often not possible for them to provide their children with enough food.
We are excited about the next year and look forward to all the projects that await us. It would be great if you continue to be a part of our vision. Thanks again for all your support!