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10 Schools, 1,000 Lives
 - The Concept
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10 Schools, 1,000 Lives!

The Bricks (and our Brick Press)
After learning about earth block construction, we ordered a well-tested, durable press for manually making earth blocks with local soil. The machine arrived in Bamako in Summer 2011 after spending several months on boats en route from India. In summer 2011 project coordinators Yacouba Sangare and Scott Lacy recruited and trained a team to assemble the press and make test bricks. Less than a year later, our brick making team and construction leaders were producing blocks for the Soumabougou School. Despite a military coup followed by armed conflict in the north, African Sky completed the Soumabougou school one year later in early 2013. With our current resources, our team will work to complete approximately one school a year. As our resources and team grows, we expect to eventually increase our productivity to completing 1.5-2 schools each fiscal year.

With our manual brick press we can make two types of blocks (additional types require purchase of new molds). The first is a small brick, good for non-load bearing walls, and the second type is a hollow block similar to a concrete block you'd find at Home Depot . This block can be made in full, 3/4, or 1/2 size. With a well-trained and smooth operating team, we can produce around 750 large blocks a day. Our current 3-room school design requires 10,000 of these blocks. We lay .5 cm of slurry between courses of bricks (not mortar). The slurry is made of the same soil and cement combination that we use to make blocks, except we add water until it is the consistency of a thick milkshake.