the VOA Special English Development Report.
are densely populated areas of housing where people live in poverty and dirty
conditions. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that by two thousand
twenty, a billion and a half people will live in slums. These are among the
people that a group called Architecture for Humanity wants to help.
for Humanity is a nonprofit organization based in California. The group
provides free design and architectural services to poor communities.
Cameron Sinclair is the executive
director. He says Architecture for Humanity has developed a network of about
four thousand architects in one hundred countries. They partner with local
communities to work on projects. Cameron Sinclair says a "community
design" process gives everyone an equal share in the project.
Architecture for Humanity also provides
money and skills training to build structures. In some cases, this training has
led to separate micro businesses within communities.
for Humanity is ten years old and has built about two hundred fifty structures
around the world.
The group is building schools in West
Africa through a partnership with UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund.
And it is working with football's governing organization, FIFA, to build sport
centers in Africa before the two thousand ten World Cup.
The group also designed housing and
community plans in Sri Lanka after the South Asian tsunami in two thousand
Structures built by the nonprofit do not
require electric power.
Two years ago, Architecture for Humanity
launched a Web site to make architectural plans and drawings freely available
for download. The Open Architecture Network has about twelve thousand
registered users and two thousand projects. Anyone can add projects and ideas
to the site, openarchitecturenetwork.org.
Sinclair predicts that the Open Architecture Network will one day have enough
designs to fit any environment or situation.
for Humanity has a budget this year of almost one and a half million dollars.
The executive director says about ninety percent goes toward materials, labor
and skills training.
And that's the VOA Special English
Development Report, written by Jill Moss. A link to Architecture for Humanity
can be found at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also find transcripts and MP3s
of our reports, and learn about other nonprofits working in the developing