HAPPI: the architecture making everyone smile

Two months after the official opening of the RedEarth Teachers’ Training Centre and Nursery School in Masindi, we’re taking a look back at the long (and dusty) road that got us there!

This unforgettable journey began back in 2014, when we acquired the land at the top of the hill in Masindi. Then all of a sudden, the building plans were underway.

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The building was designed by Malcolm Worby of Homeless and Poor People’s Initiative (HAPPI). HAPPI is an incredible organisation, specialising in community empowerment projects and uplifting individuals through training in affordable and sustainable building methods.

Malcolm has spent over 25 years designing sustainable and energy efficient buildings, built mostly out of adobe (mud brick). Today, he shares the experience and knowledge he has gained with others, in poor rural and urban areas around the world.

As well as providing the community with a new, model nursery, the building also became a HAPPI skills training project. Many key building and engineering skills were shared with local builder Charles and his work crew. They were also joined by a team of locals from the community, including a student from the local Technical College, and unskilled workers from the community who were keen to learn new skils.Happi2

Malcolm explains, “There was an overwhelming sense of pride in their achievement, and they all were very grateful and excited at being ‘taught skills that no other builder or workers in the area have.’” Techniques shared included laying the foundations, reinforcing and connecting bars, installing door and window lintels and setting beams across the veranda posts. For a team of workers who were completely new to building such a complex, detailed and sustainable, they have all done a truly amazing job!

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