Empowering HIV/AIDS orphaned children in Africa to a self sustainable future

Catherine Koch

Catherine Koch

Founder and President of Love Is The Answer, a Canadian registered charity serving orphaned children in Africa.

The Building of ACIO Dorms – Part One


Here’s a picture essay showing progress so far on the dorms for ACIO! They are coming along very well. The weather is co-operating for the most part (we’re between rainy and dry seasons) and we’re making great headway. The foundation below all the walls is in and now work has begun on the interior floor, before the brick walls will be finished up the roofing line.

The children are all very excited and happy, as is Vincent, all of ACIO, the surrounding community and all of us at LITA! One of the greatest moments (for me) so far.. I was in the public taxi returning to Mbale.. the man beside me asked me if I was coming from Mutufu.. yes. He said, “I live in Mutufu. I live near by ACIO Child Care Center and our project there is coming along very well.” I was beyond happy to hear him say this and felt very grateful that the community is taking ownership of the project. Perfectly wonderful! Deepest appreciation and gratitude to all who have contributed to this empowering project!

The “Bill of Quantities” from our local engineer “Sab” estimates we will be needing over 12,000 bricks to build dorms for the children at ACIO.. every one of the bricks made locally, moulded by hand in wooden frames, stacked and baked by fire, and trucked to as near the site as possible.
From where they are dropped by the truck, along with “hardcore” (larger rocks), “aggregates” (gravel) and loads of sand, the bricks will be ferried by hand to the site.
On Friday, Nov 16, 2012, measurements were taken and site lines were established by Sab – our engineer – Daniel, his foreman, Vincent, ACIO’s Director, David, Vincent’s right hand man, and several men from the community who will be doing the actual building.
The men cut and split branches to mark corners, walls, etc..
This is the back right corner of the rectangular building we are going to be putting up. In the distance you can see the temporary classrooms where most of the 32 ACIO children attend school.
Discussing with Joshua just exactly where we think the boy’s dorm should be..
Showing Shamila where her bed may be..
Nov 18, 2012 – Trenches have now been dug marking where the walls will be built upon. At the near end will be the girl’s dorm where 10 ‘double-decker’ beds will be for 20 girls.. in the middle will be a small library and office, and at the far end will be the boy’s dorm.
I am told the actual brick wall will be in the middle of the trench.. but first, to create a powerful foundation, hardcore will be laid in the trench, followed by gravel mixed with sand, then concrete, then the bricks will begin.. the walls will first be built to a height where the interior concrete floor will be poured to meet them, and then continue up to the roof line..
Hardcore.. great big rocks that help create a strong foundation..
Hardcore, laid and leveled in all the wall trenches..
Aggregates (gravel) mixed with sand and  layered on top of the hardcore..
Pounding the sand on top of the foundation firm..
On top of the hardcore, aggregates and sand, a layer of concrete is poured.
Tell me, tell me.. is this not the beginnings of THE most beautiful brick wall you have ever seen? We think so! Soon to be, right inside these sturdy walls will be 20 orphaned boys, (and 20 girls in the room at the other end of this building) safe, warm, dry, sleeping so peacefully.. one of these very fine days.
So, it’s the boy’s dorm pictured closest, then in the middle: the office/library area, then the girl’s dorm at the far end!
The back right hand corner, by the girl’s dorm, looking up at the current classrooms of ACIO’s primary school. As we continue to assist ACIO to develop their Child Care Center with eventual self-sufficient sustainability in view, it is envisioned that one day, these classrooms will also be built of bricks and made permanent.. but first, a solid and safe home for the children who need full time care.

More soon, thanks so much for following along as we take these wonderfully empowering steps with ACIO, the local community of Mutufu, and our Beloved children! Everyone is so grateful for your interest, your involvement, and especially, your Love.

Be Blessed, Cath xox

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