Adelaide, Australia -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/01/2014 -- Responding to Typhoon Yolanda, South Australian charity Off Grid Aid launches its “Philippines Eco Housing Project”, ambitiously aiming to empower Filipinos to build cost-effective, typhoon resistant housing using local materials. Commencing April 22nd, eight Australian and international volunteers will travel to the Philippines to run a 10-day building workshop in sustainable earth-bag and permaculture solutions. Earth-Bag building uses sandbags filled with stabilized earth, arranged in layers, organized in a curved configuration for superior bracing. Strands of barbed wire are placed between layers to act as mortar and structural reinforcement. Earth-bag structures have passed California earthquake and typhoon resistant testing.
Using an education-exchange approach, volunteers will work directly with locals to identify how these building technologies can be incorporated into traditional Filipino techniques. Working together they will build the first prototype; a much needed community day-care centre, doubling as an evacuation shelter. Filipinos will walk away with the knowledge and experience to use these new building skills in their local community.
“Whilst handouts are great for temporary relief,” says Off Grid Aid co-founder Adrian Paech, “such aid often lacks long-term benefit, resulting in many feeling frustrated and dependent. Filipinos need an opportunity to stand-up and take ownership of the solution. During our food relief effort in December we witnessed their ingenuity and drive, yet few had the income or skills to build an adequate solution. Our ultimate goal is to enable Filipinos to come together to build sustainable housing for each other.”
A second hands-on workshop is scheduled for October, training Filipinos in permaculture systems, covering self-sustainable water, sewerage, food and cooking facilities. From 2015, Off Grid Aid hopes to assist Filipinos in rolling out sustainable housing back in their respective towns.
Want to help or donate?
Off Grid Aid welcomes donations to help fund the cost of building and workshop activities. If you have ideas that could contribute, or wish to donate to our cause please visit our website, or find us on Facebook under “Off Grid Aid”.
OFF GRID AID: Co-Founder
OFF GRID AID: Media Liaison