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The Nubian Vault Academy

Large-scale training in the Nubian vault technique

The not-for-profit association The Nubian Vault has established its own training academy (the NVA), to improve training for the beneficiaries of its development programme centered on the Nubian vault construction technique. A response to increasing demand from this fast-growing project.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - The Nubian Vault Academy
© Mathieu Hardy

The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has supported the not-for-profit association The Nubian Vault since 2008, successfully re-introducing this ancestral technique to sub-Sahelian Africa. Nubian vaults are built of baked earth, providing strong, durable, climate-friendly roofing, using local materials. Over 2,000 such structures have been built since the year 2000, including private homes and public buildings, mostly in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal.  Now, in response to growing demand, the association has established an ‘academy’ for effective, rapid transmission of the range of skills involved, supporting the programme’s continued development on an unprecedented scale.

This new phase is the culmination of significant groundwork on the project to date. Following the success of an experimental ‘pilot village’, the NVA has extended the programme’s reach to new geographical areas. The academy represents a major step forward, consolidating and supporting the teams currently working to spread awareness of the technique (teaching project coordinators and local instructors), and to implement it on the ground (through a structured approach involving everyone from area coordinators to individual builders).

The Academy’s first modular programmes are aimed at groups of up to fifteen, focusing on in-depth work and enhanced individual ‘ownership’ of the skills and techniques.  The training programmes will evolve over time, incorporating and teaching the latest innovations to future Nubian vault practitioners.

The Foundation is delighted to support this new phase of the programme, focused on the transmission of ancestral artisan skills.

>> Found out more about the Foundation’s support for The Nubian Vault 

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