Second part of the project

After our group Komitu received the first grants, we sent three of us again to Cambodia. The purpose of the second trip was to have a participatory workshop with the local youth, hold presentations and meet as many people as possible. All went well, the workshop was successful and we had a load of people at the two presentations in a local university and a cultural center.

Courtyard model is popular
CVS youth making their own floor plan design for the youth center.
Elina Tenho presenting the first design for the center at Meta House cultural center.
Students asking about the design and bamboo use at Limkokwing university.

So a year ago, all we were still missing was a plot of land for the youth center. Our partner organization had said that the process for acquiring a site could take up to 6 months, and we couldn’t do much but submit to that. Then just a few weeks after returning from the workshop trip, we got a message from CVS telling that a site had been found. It was in the community where we had held the workshop for the youth. The association KKKHRDA managing the area had had their representative in our workshop, and he had been so convinced that he had suggested they offer the building site. From this sprouted an idea of co-operation of the two organizations that had similar interests.

Well yes, there's a downside: the site is a former sewage pond...
View from north end of the site: trees have been planted all around. Photo by Inari Virkkala

Last summer two of our group went to see the site, had a workshop with the neighbors, and looked for local manufacturers of different building materials, alongside meeting all kinds of people again. After that, the design phase got fully underway. The site was double the land area compared to the one we had used during the course. With six people on the team and future users to consider, the process of designing has been anything but straightforward. First the building grew with the site but then it had to be made smaller again to fit the budget. Last fall went by so fast with all the work related to our project taking most of my time. And now I’m finally here to see the walls go up!