Workshop: Build with Gambia 2018/19


In 2018/19, the Nka Foundation will be leading an earth architecture workshop and design-build challenge in rural Gambia. Together with the local youth, volunteers will design and build a unit of a vocational skills center.

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The goal of the workshop, organized by the non-profit organisation Nka is to design and build a unit of Kantora Arts Village, a new vocational training center where unemployed rural youths of ages 16 to 25 years undergo a two-year skills development training in vocational arts and earth architecture. The workshop is part of the curriculum of the school, and by participating in the construction of the school the local students will get a chance to learn new skills in a real project.

The building will be designed and built according to principles of sustainable building. Earth construction will be used because of its low environmental impact, local availability and long history in West Africa.One of the goals of participatory design is to bring out local skills and potentials. The project should give the locals new skills and ideas that will help them drive their own development in a way that is based on local conditions and culture.

The workshop is an opportunity to learn by doing and to gain practical experience in a real project. Students can also use the opportunity for internship or thesis. Possible research topics range from technical to artistic to social, including for example participatory design, traditional building techniques, natural ventilation, building materials and local crafts.

The workshop is held from March 15th, 2018 to January 15th, 2019 and will take place in Kassi Kunda village in the Upper River Region of eastern Gambia. Volunteers can join the workshop anytime for a minimum of two weeks, and the longer you stay the more you will learn and contribute.

There is a 400€ participation fee to join the workshop, and these fees are used to pay for the project (materials, local labour, etc). In addition to this, participants are requested to pay 80€/week for food and homestay accommodation. Flights, visa, vaccinations and insurance are paid by the participant. Especially students are encouraged to apply for grants/scholarships or to do fundraising to help cover costs.

If you are interested in joining the workshop or want more information, send an e-mail to and for further information check the website or the Facebook page.