Infrastructure investments add up to a brighter future
Breadline Africa’s primary goal is to not only help children do better in school by ensuring that they have safer spaces to learn in. It’s difficult to focus on learning when the roof is leaking and the temperatures drop in winter. Teachers also struggle to help their charges when they are worried about the children hurting themselves on a broken board or rusty nail. Many units that Breadline Africa replaces are unsafe and cramped – hot in summer and cold in winter.
In the library project, the knowledge that there is a dedicated space to read – to develop a love of reading … to lose oneself in a book – is invaluable. It’s a haven from the noise and demands of home and a doorway to a completely different world.
In 2021, Breadline Africa implemented its Alternate Infrastructure Project. Project Manager, Alex Laugksch, explains that the project was motivated by several factors. “The communities where Breadline Africa has historically worked are high density, informal environments and therefore, not suitable for containers that need to be delivered on large vehicles. Secondly, while prefabricated structures allow for flatpack delivery and on-site assembly, having loose building material on site in high-risk communities often presents a challenge for the team. And, of course, in recent years, costs related to container conversations and custom-built prefabricated structures have escalated. So, as an organisation, we are wanting to identify cost-effective infrastructure solutions that are appropriate and suitable for the environments in which we work BUT that also have benefits for environmental sustainability. While containers offer good (short-term) re-use opportunities, they do have a finite lifespan and, likely to be left unused and abandoned in communities when they are no longer fit for purpose.” For Breadline Africa, the Alternate Infrastructure Project is an attempt to say that we can do better and that we can – and must – utilise resources in a more responsible way.
Breadline Africa is currently piloting the following sustainable structures: