Primary Education in Kenya is free, but many parents cannot afford to pay for equipment and transport. Over-crowded classes have led to a poor quality of education and most schools do not have the necessary facilities or resources to equip the coming generations for a nation in development. Nationwide, only half of all primary students continue to secondary education and less than half of these proceed to college or university. Youth unemployment rate has now exceeded 80%.
Eco Moyo (http://www.ecomoyo.com/) is an educational Community Based Organisation founded by the Norwegian enthusiast Lindsay Sanner. It’s located in the town of Mtwapa in Kilifi county, Kenya, providing free Montessori based education to children from poor families. Currently Eco Moyo provide education and care for around 20 children in temporary accommodation, and their ambition is to include 220 children and youth in the future.
Eco Moyo have recently bought a site half an hour drive from Kilifi town center in an area called Ezamoyo. They have asked The Scarcity and Creativity Studio, AHO, to design and build two of the classrooms on their new site.
The majority of the students Eco Moyo intend to enroll will be either orphans or come from poor families. Statistically, this means, that most of them will not receive higher education, or get a job – unless they create their own. By accepting this truth, Eco Moyo put their focus on development of certain skills to improve their student´s chances of making a living for themselves, learning trades needed in rural areas in addition to academic subjects.
The site Eco Moyo recently bought is 5 hectares and located in Ezamoyo. Currently this site has a house, and Eco Moyo is building the infrastructure necessary to make it usable as an education center. At the start of 2017 they plan to build living accommodation for 20 pupils and the teaching staff so that they can move operations to the new site.
Their development plan consists of two parts; Eco Moyo Primary School and Eco Moyo Farm. The primary school is modeled on Green School Principles and the Montessori Education method, emphasis is on practical approaches to each subject together with ethics, ecology, training in individual thinking and communication skills. The farm will be based on Permaculture Principals for the cultivation of food crops, timber and animal husbandry. The goal is to meet the consumption needs of students and staff, while functioning as a demonstration site for locals and visitors.
The project consists of designing and building two classrooms for the Eco Moyo Education Centre and consists of approximately 100 m².
The buildings will be sustainable, maximizing the use of local materials such as mud bricks (Adobe), wood sticks, earth bags, straw-bales, cob and recycled materials. They will be designed based on the principles of tropical architecture, which builds on the characteristics of the local climate to minimize the use of energy.
The design process will develop the project in a pyramid structure, starting with twelve individual concepts, and through merging of ideas and elimination end up with 1 final project. The SCS studio will go to Kenya and build the project in April 2017.