The Dutch organisation Let Kids Smile asked Article 25 to design and lead the construction of a new children’s home in Nkoranza, Ghana. The children provided for by the centre had been left homeless in January 2007, as the previous home was no longer available. The design and construction of a larger, more comfortable, sustainable and child friendly home was a priority.
A plot of land about the size of a football pitch was bought to construct the new home. It would accommodate 25-30 children as well as 4 live-in carers. Article 25 developed a suitable design for this site, researching local construction techniques, the environmental and cultural context.
The use of local builders and businesses throughout the construction process created jobs and stimulated the local economy. The community volunteered to help move stones, pump water for the site, carry timber and weed the land to be used for farming.
The resulting building afforded a much more comfortable living environment, with a shaded courtyard for the children to play in. As well as constructing the building itself, we ensured that the surrounding land was put to good use by creating space to grow crops and keep animals, generating income and offering a chance for the children to learn basic farming skills.
The building was completed in June 2007, taking just four and a half months to construct.