For his master’s thesis as an architecture student, Oliver van Malm developed a hollow building block (TwistBlock) that can be assembled Lego-like into buildings with comfortable room temperatures and, if necessary, disassembled again. It is affordable and easy to manufacture, and round walls cause no problems. It is the ideal building block for slum inhabitants. And that was exactly his goal in his research when he spent half a year working in Kiberaslum, Nairobi, about 10 years ago.

In the meantime, his company Start Somewhere produces at 3 locations in Kenya and several schools have already been built with it. After 4 years, he was on a short visit to Nairobi in October with his two co-founders Silvia Hesse and Kristina Cress. We visited with all of them one of the schools, they constructed with their innovative system, the Bethany Joy School in Kawangware Slum and invited them to join us at Oseki Farm.

Promising perspectives of cooperation are opening for our work in Nairobi. Start Somewhere can build our hostel, the Nyendo-Hub, when the time comes, and all renovation and construction projects of our partner schools can be taken over by the Kenyan team.

As we got along so well, I very much hope that we will be able to welcome them as guests on Oseki Farm for a sabbatical of several months.

The principal of Bethany Joy School, Walter Orlando, and Chitra Watumull Wright, who made the financing of the land and school construction possible, are welcomed by nyendo as possible partners.