Saturday, 29 January 2011

Making the bricks

Here is Jamali (a street boy aged 15) on top of the brick stack, with Enos (the Project Director) throwing the new bricks up to him.
This is happening at the site of the unfinished SKILL hostel. The soil there has been found to be suitable for bricks.
The way it is done is this:
(a) The soil is moulded into bricks, and these are laid out in the sun to dry.
(b) When dry, they are stacked up into a kiln. Such kilns can be up to 12 feet high.
(c) Banana leaves are then spread on the top.
(d) A fire of sticks is lit in the cavity at the foot of the kiln, and can burn for a day or two.
(e) When the banana leaves catch fire, the bricks are cooked!
It is good that some of the street boys are helping with this work. First, because it gets them into the habit of positive, productive work - so much of their lives is empty and aimless. Second, because involving them with actually building at the SKILL site helps them to "own" the project. The SKILL Centre is theirs! (These bricks are for the veranda, and for building classrooms near the Hostel - it is hoped that when the Hostel in finished, schoolrooms will be built for primary neducation, both for street children and for other local children.)

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