Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday workshop

To the left: Making the frames for the windows. The windows are located in the wall that is visible in the bacground.

This saturday we had a big workshop. Together with the mothers and fathers we had prepared for this saturday almost a week. Our goal was to have a gathering of the mothers, fathers and the scholars to start making doors, windows, walls, lamps, chairs and tables for the new study centre. Everyone worked really hard, and by the end of the day we could put all of these elements into the new study centre. Today was an amazing day with an incredible community spirit. Thanks you for a great workshop!!!

To the left: The lamp shades in the front and the frames for the windows in the back. In the middle: Table and chair To the right: The doors

Putting it into the study center By the end of the workshop we put everything into the building

Production Working and producing the different elements from the matterials the mothers had gathered a couple of days in advance.

Paint your dream What do you want to become in the future?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting Pattong!

One of the fathers working with us has a family living in Samar. They are living in a small town that produce a lot of rice. It turns out they also have a lot of pattong growing in the jungle surrounding the rice fields. Recently we had a meeting with the fathers where they showed their interest in making a bamboo roof for the building, so we went to Nestors family to get some pattong (bamboo). We took the jeepney and went.

Home The home of Nestors sister

Uninvited we came to the house of nestors sister. It was a small traditional native house in the midle of a rice field. When we came she instantly stopped working and started preparing food for us. While she was preparing food we went to look for bamboo. There we met the rest of Nestors family. They also stoped doing what they were doing and joined us in cutting the bamboo. We were really impressed by these amazingly nice people.

Making the food Chicken soup and fresh rise from the rice fields

Playing with the food

Nestor and his family selected the best patong by the age and straightnes. Then we chopped them down and carried them to the jeepney. It was important to keep the leaves on so that when we put them in a copper sulfate solution it will be stronger.

The man himself chopping and carrying the bamboo to the Jeepney.

Patong The bamboo was so long that some wasn`t possible to carry by oneself.

We were so impressed by the kindnes of Nestors family. Thank you so much for the help! We`ll be back for more bamboo!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jumping into the action – seen from the perspective of Jostein Fardal

I came to Tacloban in middle of the heat of battle. Alex picked me up at the airport and we went straight to Streetlight after dropping off my things at their apartment. I was quickly introduced to the fathers, the children and the people working for Streetlight. Everyone was full of energy and it seems that they are all happy to be part of the making of a new study center. The sound of shovels digging the earth emphasizes the feeling of something that is starting to take shape.

The last weeks Alex, Ivar and Trond have been working with the building permit, while the fathers have been preparing the site by digging the ditches for the foundation and making the iron reinforcements for the concrete. The project is now at a serious stage where many final decisions have to be made and many details have to be solved before commencing the real construction. How deep are the niches in the wall? Do we use bolts or nails? How does a bamboo roof work?

Since there are many things happening at the moment, the trio has divided their tasks in order to work more efficiently. Trond has been in charge for making the layout for the building permit and update the final changes. The last days they had visits from a local engineer, a plumber, and an architect who have given them many advices. Ivar has been checking out materials and construcion. He built a 1:1 model of the space between the roof and the on top of the haloblock wall in order to experiment with different dimensions and ways of constructing it. How can this be an intimate space suitable for the children? What is a comfortable size for a space with no given functions?

Alex has taken care of organizing workshops and they recently had one with the mothers. They want to include the mothers as much as possible and one possible approach is to make them help with the interior design. They discussed furniture and how to arrange the interior space through games and drawings. Alex, Ivar and Trond made lunch for the mothers, consisting of a traditional noodle dish and Norwegian style pancakes, which seemed to be a hit. Alex also assisted Nerren's workshop with the children who where playing with ideas for a new hammock and a tree house next to the shore. After the workshop the children went to test the 1:1 model and gave some feedback about the sizes, although some commented on why it was built on the basket court.

As an overall I must say it was really interesting for me to jump into the middle of the process. I think the guys have triggered some buttons that make things happen more easilier now. There are still some challenges yet to solve, but the guys are learning every day through what they do together with the community. Best of luck to you all.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


At the same time as we have been working with the building permit there has been lot of workshops. It was a nice way of getting as many good ideas as possible into the project. Lately Ate Nerren has been more involved in the workshops and she as managed to take the workshops to a new level. Now we play more games and have more fun so everyone feels more comfortable and relaxed during the workshops.

Scholars: "What is your dream? What do you need to fulfill your dream?"

The first workshop was with the older girls in the study center. They were telling us about there dreams of what they wanted to be in the future. Further on they discussed and draw how the study center can work as good a place so the can realize there dreams. It was lots of fun and they had a lot of good suggestions considering working spaces and things that were needed.

Mothers: What is your daughters/sons dream in life? What can I do as a mother to help fulfill that dream?"

The next workshop was with the mothers of the kids in the study center. Here we started with a game were the mothers should guess there children's dream. The other mothers should try to explain the profession without using the name of the profession. It ended up with 25 mothers jumping and screaming of excitement! After they wrote a note on how they could contribute as a mother to make there children's dream come true. It was all good and strong words. We also needed to write how we could contribute as volunteers. I think this was a good way of showing the importance of the study center and making the project more personal!

Scholars: What is needed to get the best study environment ? What do you need for your studies?"

Next workshop, or more like a Halloween party, was with the boys from the Streetlight center (the kids living at streetlight) and the the older girls from the study center (after the boys request). The kids had dressed up in costumes and painted their face and everyone was eager to play games. Later one the kids were splitt into those who were in elementary, high school, and those who soon will go to collage. They also wrote what they wanted to be in the future and after they wrote and draw what they needed in the study center. In all the suggestions there was an need for lamps so we tried to make one. But after a while it just become chaotic, it was difficult to organize 30 - 40 kids in different ages and make them cooperate. But they made some rough suggestions but it all got broken... and then it was time to eat and dance.

Father: What is your sons and daughters goal in life? What can you do to contribute?

For the next workshop we went to Seawall (the slum area where the kids from the study center and there families live). It was really nice to go and visit all the families in there homes. At the workshop two days later we placed the the tables at the construction ground and put up some lights. We started the workshop with showing pictures from the working progress and the site development. Later on we gave them an short introduction of what we had been doing on the workshops whit the mothers and the kids. In this workshop the fathers told how they could contribute and support so their kids dreams as fathers. They placed there kids dream in the study center they had been drawing. In the end we talked about how the could help making the study center come true as builders. The next day we had 10 new workers ready to start work!

Mothers: This is what your children are saying they need to have the best study environment. But how can we put these needs into reality?

Later in the week we had a new workshop with the mothers where they used there children's wishes and drew them into a plan for the study center. It was really interesting to see! they made some nice drawings in a mix of plan view and perspective and it was really understandable. This workshop we had really swapped roles. they where drawing and we were making food. so in the end we served pancit canton and norwegian pancakes! it was a good ending on a Sunday morning and they all loved the pancakes!

We are now looking forward to the next workshop on Saturday!