in loco FELLOWS BLOG SERIES #5: Living the dream
‘’My passion and great enjoyment for architecture, and the reason the older I get the more I enjoy it, is because I believe we-architects can affect the quality of life of the people.’’ Richard Rogers
As an architectural graduate, I first got introduced to rise way back in 2015, at Limkokwing University when rise held their first lecture at my university. From that day, my admiration for architecture and perception about the built environment specifically with building with local materials was activated. I realized that I knew less about various methods of construction that existed in other African countries. From that day, I started following rise’s lectures, after seeing their impact and the drive about helping out less developed countries with resources they have.
Fast forward, my senior architecture students got enrolled into the in loco program, where they worked on GLC*(God’s Love Centre Orphanage) in 2018 in Sekamaneng. This in loco program was ‘a learn by doing;.’ program, where graduates are equipped with all necessary skills (construction skills) before being introduced to the industry. I was very inspired and hoped they’ll recruit other graduates after the first cohort. It was a dream come true when I realized they were recruiting again this year (2019). I didn’t hesitate, I applied with the hope of being admitted, and my prayers were answered, I was accepted into the fellowship.
The project we are working on as the second cohort of fellows is the IDAL (Intellectual Disability & Autism Lesotho) Center, where we designed and are currently building a pavilion, a timber-made structure, which is so intriguing to work with, because it’s one of the rare methods of construction in the country for big projects like this.
As an architecture graduate, I have learned more than I had anticipated about construction and by actually not just designing and handing over a project to be constructed by a construction professional, but also getting my hands dirty. I also learned concrete mixing, to using a concrete mixing machine, timber construction and tools, detailing, business and entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills.
At first I was appointed to be a buyer or procurement officer, which entails a lot of paper work and buying construction materials and equipment in this context. This was a challenging role, but I got used to it as time went on. Currently I’m working as a site architect, which entails, reporting progress on site, faults, daily tasks and weekly reports.
Lastly, I’d like to thank rise for recruiting us into the fellowship, it has been really amazing and a very valuable experience of reaching out to the communities and empowering youth as fresh graduates before being introduced to the industry to pursue our dreams. And our slogan is, if you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.