In January 2010, this group of artists, builders, architects, and engineers asked themselves how they could use their skills and talents to help people in Haiti rebuilt their lives. Settling on the earthquake, hurricane, flood, and fire resistant earth bag structures pioneered by Nader Kahlili, the group worked with local residents to create a multi room community center in in the village of Bigones. Partnering with the Mango Grower’s Association of Leogane, Konbit Shelter taught the local people learned new skills and principles in order to construct the earth bag structures. Konbit, in the local Creole language, is a traditional form of cooperative communal labor in Haiti, whereby the able-bodied folk of a locality help each other prepare their fields. In the same sense, a Konbit Shelter is a joint cooperative effort by members of the community to build housing.
The Konbit Shelter is a domed structure, which utilizes 90% earth and only 10% cement to create homes that are stronger than typical cinder block homes. They utilize practically no wood, which is very scarce in Haiti and no special tools or machinary are needed for construction. The model is easy to replicate and also easy to customize and decorate with paint and exterior details as a way of personalizing the structure for each family. Besides the community center, Konbit Shelter has also completed a single family home and expects to begin construction on a new home for or Avelia Louis and her family in January of 2013. To support their efforts, please consider donating to the project through the Konbit Shelter Kickstarter Campaign.
Images ©Konbit Shelter