The District of Bugesera is one of the seven Districts of the Easter Province of the Rwanda. It is situated to the South West of the Province, between 3005 of longitude and 2009 of latitude South.
The designs for the eight ECCD centres in the Bugesera district aims to provide small rural villages with facilities that stimulate children holistically while engaging the whole community and it is the result of an extensive research on available resources and climate, the community’s social background and traditions.
The efficiency, sustainability and self-reliance are achieved through the use of locally available materials, and the creation of successful meeting spaces. All the inhabitants, despite their strong culture of privacy, are able to use them all day long, in virtue of solar powered lights and access to water.
The main concept for the ECCD centres in the Bugesera district is to provide a safe and secure environment for holistic child development. The design is conceived of as an added educator, to engage in parenting education, after school homework, community meetings and women cooperatives. The scope is to give ownership of the facilities to its various stakeholders, making them socially sustainable and environmentally efficient.
One stimulation room, oriented in response to the prevailing wind and rain, is connected with a large front porch facing the main path leading to the village centre. The open demonstration kitchen and garden are located directly opposite, and the compost production and latrines are placed on the side, next to the playground. Overall the ensemble promotes nutrition, sustainable practices and hygiene education.
The porch is the project’s core element. It fosters children relations and interaction among all inhabitants. From the outset parents, teachers and children have been excited by the preciousness of the space, that can be used throughout the year.
Progress is the result of a twofold approach. On the hand the entire constructions use a reinforced masonry technique aimed at minimizing use of cement, avoiding plastering, and teaching local labour the flemish bond. On the other, specific design decisions, such as the use of composting pit latrines, aim at minimizing the use of land and the excavation of deep septic tanks.
Local materials are complemented by select technical improvements, such as the solar panel and rechargeable lamps. These provide the centres, only buildings in the villages, with artificial light, allowing for a variety of parallel functions. The rain water harvesting system and hand washing taps complete the environmental response of the project.
The topographic insertion of the project in all the 8 sites it has been replicated and adapted to, is a testament to the operation's proficiency. The buildings avoid any modification of the natural sites, where all existing trees have been preserved.