[GSBN] Help Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building Manifest the PAKSBAB Hub/Outreach and Learning Center!

Darcey Donovan darcey at paksbab.org
Thu Dec 24 17:46:38 CST 2015

Dear GSBN friends,


I wanted to share PAKSBAB's end-of-year letter with you, below. Please share
with others you think would be interested.


I wish you a Merry Christmas and the very best in the New Year!






As a response to the recent terror attacks, the status quo encourages us to
shut down and approach life from a place of fear and anger. I believe there
is a better option and that is to react from a place of peace, love and
compassion. It saddens me that Muslims, including many of my friends and
colleagues, are being cast in generalizations that just aren't true. Instead
of discrimination, let's each take an intentional step today to make a
positive difference in the world. 


PAKSBAB has a vision - that everyone deserves access to safe and affordable
housing and that this can be accomplished through local capacity building
and appropriate design solutions that protect and restore the earth. Over
the past 10 years we have developed a straw bale construction method
appropriate for Pakistan and other developing countries, built 40 straw bale
houses, and trained over 70 local builders. We also conducted a definitive
seismic research project <https://nees.unr.edu/straw-house>  at the
University of Nevada Reno's NEES site in which our straw bale house was
tested on a shake table and withstood 8 consecutive earthquakes of
increasing intensity - up to 2x the Northridge Canoga Park Record! In 2015
we completed a Permaculture Design Course and are excited to include
sustainable farming and productive landscapes in our scope of work,
empowering marginalized families to make a dignified living. 


Our next project is to build an outreach and learning center in Abbottabad,
Pakistan, a "hub" where we can showcase our work, offer educational
services, and the local population can learn how to be better stewards of
the earth. We're calling it the PAKSBAB Hub/Outreach and Learning Center and
it looks like this:


cid:image002.png at 01D13A8B.1A50C0A0




Project Highlights:

·        Computer lab and affordable computer literacy programs (provide
connections to online university courses)

·        Cafe to serve the local community and showcase healthy, wholesome
food options, many grown on-site

·        PAKSBAB office and conference room

·        PAKSBAB information/displays

·        Retail shop to sell permaculture and sustainable building products
such as solar PV

·        Demonstration and outdoor learning areas for sustainable
technologies including Permaculture, straw bale construction, natural
finishes, solar PV, rainwater catchment, water filtration, sanitation
solutions, rocket stoves and solar ovens

·        Mentoring in English, math, physics, chemistry and biology for high
school students

·        Adult literacy programs

·        English language and grammar courses

·        Technical/educational seminars

·        Library area with copy services

·        Priority on hiring female staff for computer lab, classroom and
other gender appropriate positions

·        Off-site workshops and sustainable building certificate programs in
Permaculture and straw bale construction


We've broken the Hub down into four phases:

·        Phase I - Purchase a 0.19 acre (30 marla) plot of land in a
pedestrian-accessible urban area

·        Phase II - Design, engineering and approvals

·        Phase II - Utilities and construction

·        Phase III - Furnishings and program implementation


$40,000 accomplishes Phases I and II - purchasing the land and the design,
engineering and approvals - an optimal position to secure a grant for phases
III and IV. Ongoing operation of the Hub will be self-sustaining and will
generate funds for program scholarships and future projects. 


Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of The Little Prince, said: "A rock pile
ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single person contemplates it bearing
within them the image of a cathedral." The PAKSBAB Hub/Outreach and Learning
Center will be a cathedral of knowledge and opportunity for the local
community and replicable in other locations. 


If this work touches you, we invite you to join us on our journey. Please
help us reach our goal of raising $40,000 to complete Phases I and II by
taking an intentional step in the form of a generous end-of-year
contribution - click here
<http://builderswithoutborders.org/donate/index.htm>  to donate! You have my
personal assurance that your support will make a measurable and positive
difference in the world. 


With gratitude,




Darcey Messner Donovan, P.E., C.E.O.

Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building (PAKSBAB)

13308 Skislope Way

Truckee, CA 96161 USA

+1-530-902-5516 Ph

darceydonovan Skype

darcey at paksbab.org 

www.paksbab.org - currently being updated!


There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing is a miracle; You can
live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

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