Building Eco-Friendly Schools in Kachin State, Myanmar

Environment Friendly Living


Kachin Community Building Eco-Friendly School

The Kachin ethnic minority group that inhabits Northern Shan and Kachin States in Northern Myanmar (Burma) have started an initiative to transform their communities through using a child-centered approach to education. Complementing this transformative approach to education is building eco-friendly schools.


A little bit of context

For over five decades, the Kachin have struggled for greater justice and recognition within Myanmar. Their determination to build sustainable changes to their situation has been remarkable, particularly in the face of the war, discrimination, and exclusion they experience. The Kachin have previously had a tradition of strong schools before the military dictatorship, in the mid-1960s, nationalized community-owned schools and destroyed Myanmar’s education system.

Over the past 20 years, many Kachin communities implemented very appropriate early childhood development centers. This current education initiative builds on the strong foundation of their Early Childhood Care Development (ECCD) centers. Local communities manage the operating costs of their schools while HOPE International Development Agency (HIDA), a Canadian agency supporting community transformation, has provided technical and strategic support in the Region by providing teacher trainings, curriculum assistance and ideas regarding eco-friendly buildings.

Hope’s philosophy is to catalyze change, but it’s necessary for the community to own and fuel the change process, including the building of their schools. The way to build strength in a community is to involve the community in the project and have them learn the skills and attitudes necessary to grow and change. Through this initiative two model classrooms have been built in Kachin State and an elementary school with nine classrooms in Nampaka, Northern Shan State.





Adobe and Bamboo Sustainable Schools

Construction using Adobe Bricks is sustainable as no natural resources are abused and therefore guarantees a low carbon footprint. Their thermal mass stores heat during the day, keeping the room cool.

Construction using Adobe Bricks is sustainable as no natural resources are abused and therefore guarantees a low carbon footprint. Their thermal mass stores heat during the day, keeping the room cool.

Volunteers and the community manually craft these adobe bricks, block by block, into free-form walls with great thermal insulating capability. We also integrate adobe bricks with other natural materials like bamboo to construct cost effective eco-friendly roofs.

Community volunteers learn how to make rock and cement foundation, abobe bricks, and preserve bamboo. By cutting bamboo at a specific time, then heating and drying, we are able to extend the life of the bamboo, reduce costs in the long run and improve the safety of the structures they are used to form.


Help the Kachin Community:

Two model classrooms have been built in Nawng Nang, Kachin State. This year, we need your help to build an additional two elementary classrooms, six bathrooms and to teach adobe/bamboo construction techniques to communities in Kachin State.

Two model classrooms have been built in Nawng Nang, Kachin State. This year, we need your help to build an additional two elementary classrooms, six bathrooms and to teach adobe/bamboo construction techniques to communities in Kachin State.


We need your help to:

  • Finish building an eco-friendly state of the art elementary school in Nawng Nang.
  • Provide three Community Building Training Workshops
    1. Foundation and Walls
    2. Building Sustainable Bamboo Roofs
    3. Plastering- the finishing of Adobe Walls

  • Enable members from 10-12 communities to start businesses using the adobe construction methods with bamboo techniques and the method for bamboo preservation.

These workshops are much bigger than building an elementary school for Nawng Nang. It also provides skills to communities throughout Kachin State and the possibilities for volunteers using their new skills to build eco-friendly buildings in Kachin State and develop new business opportunities.

This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at chuffed.org

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