Wednesday, 29 November 2006

ProPeru Service Corps – Semester Project Fall 2006 & Spring 2007

Start Date: 9th September 2006
End Date: Project inaugurated 19th April 2007
Address: Calle Hospital s/n, San Jeronimo, Cusco
Volunteer participation hours: approximately 78 hours per semester

Description of MANTAY:

Mantay shelters, orientates and teaches useful skills to teenage mothers from 12 to 18 years old, from the Cusco area and beyond. Most of the young girls who are sheltered at Mantay have been victims of sexual violence. Many of these mothers might otherwise have abandoned their babies due to lack of support, or simply being overwhelmed and under prepared for the experience. The purpose of the home is to give the mothers another option.
Raquel and Sergio, the owners and heart and soul of the organization, try to teach the young mothers as much as possible about looking after their babies, and the realities of motherhood. They do workshops focusing on things like domestic violence, which can stem from a family being unprepared or resentful of their situation.
Mantay has a small workshop where the mothers produce artisan products such as bags and other accessories from leather and textiles. The skills they learn in the workshop can help them to find work in the outside world, and achieve financial independence. The products that are sold also help to raise a little money for the upkeep and running of the home.

Project Overview:

The project consists of the construction of a new artisan workshop for Mantay. The existing workshop is very small, and inadequate for the number of mothers that wish to participate in the project. The new workshop will allow Mantay to greatly increase the scale of their artisan project, ensuring a greater income for the mothers and the home, as well as enabling them to train a greater number of young mothers with important skills.
The new workshop will be a completely independent structure, made from red brick with a concrete frame, and with an area of 91.56m². The building will consist of a workshop area, cutting area, deposit, shop, small office, and a bathroom.

Project Phases:

First Phase – Digging foundations and preparing steel reinforcement columns

The first few work days will be spent digging the foundations of the building using manual tools, such as picks and shovels. 13 holes, dug to a depth of 1.2m, will be used as foundations for the concrete structural columns. These columns will be reinforced using a steel framework, to be prepared and installed under the supervision of a professional builder.
The foundation holes will be linked by a network of foundation channels, to be dug to a depth of 40cm, that will support the brick walls.
These opening work days will also be used for the buying of materials such as bricks, bags of cement and steel, and their transportation to the worksite. Volunteers will participate in all these processes under the supervision of the ProPeru staff and the engineer in charge of the project.

Second Phase – Cementing the foundations and reinforcement columns

Volunteers will assist in the mixing of cement, and learn the different mixtures needed for different uses. Over 2 or 3 project weekends the foundations will all be poured, while the moulds (made from wood) will be prepared around the steel reinforcement columns and cement poured in to them.

Third Phase – Constructing the outer walls from brick

The volunteers will be instructed in the correct way of laying bricks, and will assist the workmen in building the outer walls of the building. Volunteers will also work in preparing the cement needed for brick laying, which uses a different quality of sand and mixture than the cement they previously prepared for the foundations.

Fourth Phase – Flat roof structure

The first floor of the building will be covered by a flat roof ready for a second floor to be built at some point in the future. This roof will be made from cement support beams, and concrete blocks.
A substantial number of wooden support beams will need to be installed, in order that the structure does not collapse before it is complete. Volunteers will help the workmen install the supports, mix and pour the cement, and prepare the concrete blocks.

Fifth Phase – Preparing and laying the floor

Before the cement floor is laid volunteers will participate in the process of bringing the earth floor up to the correct height, and leveling it across the building.
When the earth is level, volunteers will help to install a layer of medium sized rocks, ready for the final floor to be laid. When the rocks are in place, a final layer of cement will be poured of the entire floor and leveled.

Sixth Phase - Installation of Services and fittings

The final phase of the building work will be the installation of services and fittings, including water and electricity.
The bathroom will be tiled, with water pipes brought in, and the sink and toilet installed. Other services such as electricity, including all light and outlet sockets, will be installed by a professional.Volunteers will assist in the laying of the floor covering, plastering and painting of the walls, and general tasks involved in preparing the building for use.