Furi School Project update

Ever wonder if what you do in school will actually make a difference? Andrew Blaisdell (MArch, 2010) is leading the design for a school and clinic complex outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Furi School Project seeks to ensure that the buildings be sustainable, replicable, prepared for worldwide information empowerment, and financially and environmentally self-sufficient.

Currently in Furi, safe drinking water, electricity, and medical care are a 45-minute walk away and the existing school is a 15-foot by 10-foot mud structure. The proposed complex will serve as many as 300 students from neighboring communities during the day, and function as an adult education facility at night. Surrounding communities will have the benefit of safe drinking water, local medical attention, and educational resources on agriculture, horticulture, and human health.

Wosen Kifle, a Minneapolis resident and native of Ethiopia, contacted the College of Design for assistance with this project. Ozayr Saloojee (Architecture) mentioned the topic to Blaisdell who explored how some of the Furi Project goals can be realized on the site for his final master's project.

As the design moves forward, the Furi School Project needs further funding and research assistance, particularly with regard to human-centric sustainable technologies that are appropriate for the community and region.

A benefit dinner for the Furi School Project will be held on November 7, 2010 in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hotel Minneapolis.

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