We’ve learned a lot in our first year while building the New Hope Reconciliation Center (NHRC) in Minembwe and thought you would enjoy these interesting tidbits.

  • Bricks are made on the construction site from available soils. Laborers made 200,000 bricks to construct the Main Hall and Sanitary and the bricks were ‘burned’ in two kilns that were built on-site.
  • Stones needed to construct the foundations were dug and moved about 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) by hand. Locals stepped in to carry the stones on their heads and backs because of a lack of vehicles or suitable roads.
  • There are 94 local laborers – in addition to craftsmen – who have been hired to work on the project. By employing local labor, we are helping to provide much needed cash employment to the communities.
  • It is customary after hard labor to provide soft drinks to the staff. One of the most popular brands in our area and in nearby Rwanda is Fanta – in fact, soft drinks are universally known there as Fanta.
  • The African hoe is the ubiquitous tool used universally to dig – both for agriculture and construction. Look for people using hoes in our pictures.
  • The construction season is year-round in our area of Minembwe but the transportation season is limited to June to September. During the other months roads are impassable due to significant rains.
  • There are sufficient people and resources available in our area to complete all projected construction in a single season if we receive adequate funding.