Kaira Looro is a not-for-profit architectural event, organised by the Balouo Salo humanitarian organisation, which is aimed primarily at students and young architects, engineers, or designers. The name of the competition comes from the Mandinga language: an ethnicity that is widespread throughout Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, and Mali. It means ‘building peace’ or ‘architecture for peace’, that is to say, an approach aimed at building a supportive environment in which peace reigns. The objective of the event is to raise awareness of humanitarian topics in the international community, while at the same time raising funds to build charitable projects to which the proceeds are donated. The objective of the competition is also to offer international visibility and opportunities for professional development to talented young architects. The competition promotes a sustainable approach, incentivising research into architecture capable of offering a concrete response to climate change and humanitarian crises. The winning design will be assessed and, where applicable, constructed as a charitable project by the Balouo Salo organisation, which will verify its technological, humanitarian and economic feasibility with the context of the beneficiary. The organisation may then reserve the right to make modifications to the design to make it more viable and involve the winners, acknowledging, in any case, that the team members are the creators of the architectural concept. Where the design does not meet the criteria of the organisation, it will be able to construct another awarded design. Construction will be co-funded from the proceeds of the competition, coming from the registration fees that will therefore constitute a charitable donation. All awarded projects are to be understood as donated free of charge to the Balouo Salo organisation, who may also construct, share and donate them to other organisations, partner institutions and ministries who are committed to developing rural communities in Africa. The competition has no profitable purpose, and the entire proceeds are donated to charity.
Balouo Salo is an independent charitable organisation with the objectives of solving social emergencies, contributing to the improvement of the living conditions of disadvantaged communities in developing countries and raising the awareness of the international community on the issues of emergencies, climate change and human rights. The words 'Balouo Salo' are in the Mandinka language, the majority ethnic group in the area in which the organisation will intervene, and were chosen by the village chief of a locality in southern Senegal. Their meaning is 'a bridge to life'.
The organisation's main humanitarian activities include:
- Promoting accessibility to drinking water by building infrastructure such as dams, wells and boreholes equipped with purification plants that provide free purified water to limit health risks;
- Improving public health by building facilities and infrastructure, donating medical supplies, as well as training health personnel and the community;
- Protecting the right to education through projects that improve the school system by building or renovating schools, training students and teaching staff, and donating school materials and supplies;
- Carrying out communication and training activities on human rights, anti-discrimination and inequalities, seeking to create a society based on justice and equal rights;
- Involving local and international communities in activities and projects through conferences and seminars, but also during construction processes, in order to create awareness and social responsibility.
All Balouo Salo projects are developed and implemented with the direct involvement of the beneficiary community, in order to achieve the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency, and are entirely financed by private donations and fundraising events including 'Kaira Looro'.
More information: www.balouosalo.com