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Story: Architecture for Humanity: Ending Poverty by Design

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2 comments, last: Jul-19-2011   Add a comment   Contributor: GuestWriter (Nov-9-2009)
Optimism: 4 Categories: Economic/Financial, Sustainable Living

Porch Dog home in New Orleans, designed by Marlon BlackwellBy Kevin McCann

Why it matters:

Because Architecture for Humanity understands that sustainable design is not about impressing your neighbors; it's about building communities and working to bring an end to poverty.


We've all heard about conspicuous consumerism.  I mean, the easiest way to let people know how rich I am is to blind them with the diamonds on my wristwatch, right?  But is there such a thing as conspicuous sustainability?  When you crunch the numbers, riding your bike or taking public transportation puts Leo's Prius to shame.  And plastering your house with solar panels isn't doing a lick of good if you keep the heater blasting at a balmy 80 degrees all winter.  And though it pains me to admit it, wearing your Dad's old wool sweater until it disintegrates from your body is a more sustainable clothing choice than buying a new Patagucci fleece every time the new colors debut.

Sustainability is not a fashion statement.  For all the fancy technology and ingenuity, ultimately it's about conservation; using resources intelligently and sparingly.  So it follows that, for many in the third world and developing nations, sustainability is simply a matter of survival.

Architecture for Humanity (AFH) was founded in 1999 with this understanding when thousands of refugees returned to Kosovo to find the territory decimated, and themselves homeless.  Enter Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr.  The duo quickly sprang into action, challenging respected architects around the world to design cheap, durable, and sustainable transitional housing for the refugees.  Of the top 40 designs, five prototypes were built, and together with War Child USA the group raised an additional $100,000 for the campaign.

Those early designs became the seeds that would grow the Open Architecture Network, AFH's database of hundreds of proven, adaptable, best-practice designs for homes, medical stations, community centers… Even soccer stadiums!  The buildings are designed to be constructed using cheap, sustainable, and locally sourced materials.

With successful projects in India, Africa, the South Pacific, and even North America, and numerous accolades including a 2006 TED prize, Architecture for Humanity is fast on their way to lifting millions out of poverty and hardship, by design.


What does a soccer stadium have to do with poverty?  Afghanis were recently asked what will put the nation on the quickest road to recovery.  The responses came back consistently: rebuild bazaars and medical clinics.  Translation: Restore a sense of community and provide citizens with healthcare.  This is especially critical in post-conflict areas.  Unfortunately, the areas that are in most need of community centers and schools tend to be those with the fewest resources (both financial and natural).  Not only has AFH been facilitating the Afghan people in these ways, they also infuse fun into their projects, like with Skateistan, Afghanistan's only skate park.  Now that gives a new twist to the phrase "Radical Islam" now doesn't it?

This is why Architecture for Humanity's emphasis on sustainability is so critical.  Using reclaimed building materials, passive heating and cooling design principles, etc., the group is able to breath life into crippled communities for a few thousand, and in some cases just a few hundred dollars.

In fact, if there are any money-grubbing housing developers out there reading this (and gnashing their teeth), might I suggest taking a look at the Open Architecture Network?  There's a lot the American housing sector could learn from Architecture for Humanity and their designs. For instance, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West… Everyday!  And for us in the Northern hemisphere it travels across the southern part of the sky.  AND in the winter it dips a little lower toward the horizon.  I'm not kidding… Every winter!  So why the hell are you building AC-hungry, two-story houses with fully-exposed, south-facing walls littered with windows?

Of course, one of our favorite facts about AFH is that their Open Architecture Network is powered by the crowd, much like Creative Citizen.  When the world pools its resources, intellectual and otherwise, we can achieve anything.

Creative Solutions:


See original story:, Nov-4-2009  
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Comment by: KRISHNA MURTY (Jul-19-2011)   Web site

Poverty and hunger are the two faces of the same coin. What is poverty? Poverty is the lack of income / resource to meet the minimum requirements like food, clothing and other common needs of the family members. Poverty is the prime reason for Hunger. Hunger is lack of minimum nutrious food atleast twice a day to the family members. Hunger is nothing but Hell on the earth. POVERTY is the abbreviation of P – Pity, O – Oppression, V – Violence, E – Extortion, R – Regret, T – Torture, Y – Yell. HUNGER is abbreviation of H – Humility U – Unbearable, N – Nasty, G – Gruesome, E – Extortion, R – Rage.

Hunger is the ancient enemy of the humanity. It is the most hidden self secret of the man kind as its revelation will bring them shame and humiliation. 50,000 people die every day due to poverty related causes. More than 854 million go to bed hungry
everyday. 1 billion can’t read and write. 1.2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water. Almost half the world lives with less than $2 a day. 35% of world’s poor live in India. 40% of the world’s under weight chil dren under the age of 5 live in
India. As the food crisis is being compounded by ever multiplying population, extreme weather conditions, ecological imbalance and reduction in land for agriculture due to occupation of lands under various developmental activities. Every year
4 million people join the world’s shameful club of poverty. Hunger related disease has got numerous disadvantages such as lack of self esteem, fear, lack of competence, confidence, inferiority complex, laziness, lethargy, negligence, ne gligence of
hygiene, ill health, poor body immunity, lack of creativity, missing opportunities, social status, illiteracy and respect.

There are numerous International and National NGO’s are working to eradicate the largest enemy of the world HUNGER. Even though their services are highly appreciable, they bring slow and steady reforms. However to certain extent their support will make the hungry people steadily dependable because of lack of self awareness rather than trying to be self reliant.

It is not possible for any government or organization to pump huge funds constantly to eradicate ever increasing poverty unless the poor population becomes self reliant ultimately. Only such people will swim out of the dark sea of self poverty for
ever. To fully support such challenging task of “POVERTY FREE STRUGGLE” here are Sri Mission’s amazing 20 awareness tips to “ROOT OUT HUNGER” forever for generations.

K: KEY IS TO IMPROVE YOUR JOB SKILLS: By attaining job skills you will be competitive, confident, creative and efficient. You can do your job to the optimum satisfaction of your superior or customer with least wastage in shortest time.
Your earnings and opportunities, by way of good customer satisfaction will improve apart from your job and self confidence that enhances your hope of achieving what ever you wanted.

R: *RESTRAIN FROM BAD HABITS : Bad habits are sure leakages of life. They add to your financial losses & affect family’s nutrition food, health, peace of mind, working efficiency etc. To achieve yo ur goal, make sure that you are certainly away from all sorts of bad companions, so as to keep away from all sorts of bad habits.

I: *ILLITERACY ERADICATION: Education is the torch which eliminates the darkness of life. Education gives you awareness, knowledge, discrimination guidance, confidence, judgment, planning, assessment, idea, decision making,
organizing skills, job management, etiquettes, behaviour, creativity, public dealing, develop relations, accounting, legal aspect, current affairs, health care, how to work with economy, how to keep away from bad habbits, time management etc.

S: *SMART FAMILY ADOPTION: Adoption of smart family, that is one or two children per family will bring you unlimited peace of mind. (Read Sri Mission’s Art of Awareness living circular on single child family’s 70 benefits).

H: HEALTH IS THE FOUNDATION OF WEALTH : Always remember, if wealth is gone nothing has gone, if hope is gone, some thing has gone. If health is gone, every thing has gone. So, heal th is ultimate wealth which can lead to eradication of

N: NECESSARY PLANNING: Most important thing to achieve success in life is PERFECT ADVANCE PLANNING. It will save your money, energy, stress, time and peace of mind. Hasty action without proper planning will lead to incorrect decisions, leads to high cost, wastage and repentance.

A: AVOID ANGER: Anger is the head of the family, whose other family members are, jealous, hatred, enmity, revenge, frustration, repentance, helplessness. When anger comes, it w ill not come alone. It will bring his family members as well.
Poverty and anger are inseparable thick friends. Therefore always try to keep off from anger.

M: MANAGE YOUR TIME: “Man’s success is directly proportionate to his efficient time management”. “Time is more precious than money” “one can earn any thing, but not extra time ” “Intelligent man is he who realizes the preciousness of time” “Secret of success is priority wise punctual working” All these invaluable proverbs clearly emphasize on the importance time. Learn to utilize best of your time.

U: UTILISE ALL AVAILABLE BENEFITS: Different organizations like local bodies, authorities, State , Central governments, Schools / Colleges, Transport authorities offer certain benefits from time to time to th e poor communities. Avail all such benefits. Remember each utilized opportunity will certainly uplift you economically and take you steadily nearer to your goal.

R: RESTRICT EXPENDITURE ON FESTIVALS AND RITUALS : Be cautious on excessively spending on rit uals, festivals and marriages. Try to spend within your budget. Avoid borrowing loans at high interest rates, which will later prove as debt traps, which may swallow your entire wealth like house, jewelry, land , crops, cattle etc.

T: TACKLE LAZINESS: Laziness leads to lethargy, procrastination, negligence, take it easy attitude, loss in earnings, loss of many opportunities, loss of faith in employer, colleagues, friends, relatives, neighbours, family members, erodes your self-confidence, cuts your own self esteem, weakens you financially, makes you unfit physically because of over rest, develops cracks in self confidence, job skills, makes you financially dependable, makes friends away as you often seek help from them,
encourages to adopt bad habbits, ul timately all the way to ruin. Keep away from laziness to achieve the prime path of prosperity.

I: IMPROVE SAVINGS: Your savings will improve your self confidence, courage to face any eventuality, secure future, hope of better tomorrow and enhance love & faith in your family members . Think of ways and means to save, purchase,
economically, quality, quantity items at competitive rates. Savings proves to be super power.

S: *SIMPLE LIVING PRACTICE: The secret of happy, healthy and peaceful life is simple li ving practice. Because it is egoless economical living within your means, it reduces unnecessary expenditure & is the best secret to steadily enhance your savings. This leads to investments which ultimately give good returns . It makes your future life less volatile; prevents you from disastrous immoral activities; keeps away from bad habits and gives you a contented life. Disciplined life prevents
laziness. In one word it is the living which makes your dream of plenty, a reality at the earliest.

F: *FIGHT AGAINST CALAMITIES: A calamity is an unexpected, sudden, disaster that may strike any body, at any time, any where, without any notice. It may cause severe shock, loss of property or loss of lives or all of them. The impact and trauma can’t be explaine d in words and in certain cases can’t be recovered at all in life time. If you wish to overcome poverty, you should be ever cautious to protect your precious lives and prope rties from various calamities. Refer to Sri Mission’s 7th objective ‘Struggle against calamities’ for simple tips to save lives and properties from different types of calamities.

O: ONLY HOPE-THINK POSITIVE: Nobody ever achieved any thing in the world without positive thoughts in them. Positive thinking has got tremendous invisible pow er which can turn impossible things to become possible, unbelievable things believable, miracles to happen practically. It enhances your strength, self-confidence, enormously. Think positive and move confidently towards your goal.

R: REFUSE RISKY LOANS: Life is full of twists and calamities. Some unavoidable incidences like accidents, deaths, operations, court cases, disputes, settlements etc. may force you to go in for debt traps. You have to use your presence of
mind, tact and ensure how best you can avoid such risky loans, which will really push you to the debt traps future.

M: MAKE MULTIPLE EARNINGS: You have to search various ways, means to improve your income. House wives can also take up some full time/part time job to enhance family income. Serving people can do overtime, part time job or work from home etc. Wisely invest your savings in safe schemes, mutual funds for risk free, safe, regular return of income.

U: UTILISE INSURANCE COVER: Even though nobody can stop the mishaps, there is insurance which will come to your rescue in case of calamities like death, theft, accident, crop damage etc. Something is always better than nothing. So try to cover your valuables, lives, cattle, crops, with insurance cover. Few banks offer even free insurance cover for saving bank account holders. Various private insurance companies offer budgetary attractive schemes at competitive premiums. Be aware to utilize various free travel and such other schemes to secure your lives and properties.

L: LOVE PEOPLE: The greater secret for success is investment on people. That is not spending money, but just love. It will get you unbelievable life long unlimited returns. Nobody knows who will be helpful in a miracle way. Sincerely caring and loving, every body will prove definitely a wonder.

A: *ADOPT DISCIPLINE: Discipline is like back bone for life because self discipline enhances your determination, it gives tremendous self confidence, implements personal punctuality, builds leadership qualities, enhances confidence in your near and dear. Without self discipline any achievement becomes difficult. Discipline ensures easy success.

These 20 awareness tips will surely , easily make you rich sooner than you think. Every point mentioned above is important and will make your dream a reality faster. These points not only eradicate self poverty, even they make the rich ever richer.

Wish you to walk soon the path of prosperity by easily becoming rich. Sri mission’s effort in eradicating poverty of each individual in the world is a mission. Will you not be a part of this mission to spread invaluable message to entirely eradicate word “poverty” itself, from the world fast and to make it as a past? Come and join this gigantic darkness eradicating mission to lit bright light of smiles on each and every poor’s face and for ever
generations to come. For details visit Web site:,
Comment by: KRISHNA MURTY (Jul-19-2011)   Web site


Hunger, scarcity of water, unsolved illiteracy, ever increasing violence, regional disputes, unhappiness, competition, pollution ….. for these unlimited problems the route cause is ever-increasing world population. Controlling population is not only the responsibility of the concerned individual governments, but also the prime responsibility of every individual civilized citizen of the country. The real strength of any family is its financial strength rather than member’s strength.

Here are amazing, unlimited awareness tips for the newlyweds to build their undreamt heaven and absolutely free on earth with smallest family i.e. single child family adoption.

You can bring up the single child in the best way as per your dreams.
It will prevent the child going on in wrong ways, because of families’ total concentration.
If something happens to one of the young parents, the surviving parent can bring up the child with least burden. In the eventuality of the death of both the parents any relative can take care of the lonely child.
There will be no necessity of seats reservation in colleges, jobs reservation for various categories as everybody gets enough opportunities due to less population.
No unemployment problem. If the single child cannot get a good job, then he can pursue his parents’/in-laws’ profession.
The eligible single child will be of high demand for marriage alliances with choicest offers.
Child mortality rate drastically comes down, because of optimum care and caution. Parents neglecting non-performing child, will not arise.

You will have secure support in old age, which your single child believes that it is his full responsibility.
Quality of your old age life will improve. If at all any couple wants to take divorce, since both want their single beloved child it may prevent the divorce and lead to an ever-united family.
Even, it may unite the divorced couple at a later stage, because of single child.

You can fulfill the dreams of your spouse.
You can become free early from the family responsibilities and hence you can devote your retired life for noble social service.

Lesser day-to-day household work to the housewife.
Mother will become free early so that she can take up a job to have her economical freedom or add additional income to the family.
The single child concept will bring equal property rights automatically to females also.
Females will have sound health because of single delivery. Female will not undergo unbearable delivery pain once again in life.
Mother’s mortality rate drastically comes down, because of love,
care and caution taken by pregnant mother.

Family will never face hunger.
Your generations will not suffer illiteracy.
In the alarming scarcity of water situation you will have the least water problem.
Family can enjoy maximum privacy, silence as well as maximum leisure.
The entire family members enjoy smooth and happy life the satisfaction of their dreams.
Parents can become free early from their family responsibilities.
Tension will be absolutely nil in the family, therefore the family members will have peaceful and long life.
Single child family is the sweetest family, as there will be less family disputes. It will reduce stress, strain, worries, and botherations in many ways. Single child family enjoys special status in the society.
In case of any eventuality, remarriage of the surviving parent is easily possible.
Even if, something happens to both the parent, surviving single child responsibility can be taken by any relative. Dowry related problems like disputes, harassment, deaths; couple separation will be enormously reduced. Mother-in-law & daughter-in-law disputes will automatically vanish, as they do not have another alternative.
Everybody dreams of living in a very happy and an economical joint family.
It is not possible in many families whereas, with single child family it is possible to live in joint family as your single child more affectionately needs the parents.
Comparatively you will have fewer responsibilities in life, which can be fulfilled easily.
Except when you need muscle strength in almost all comparisons only single child family stands first in getting the maximum benefits.

You need comparatively smallest accommodation.
Since you need low budget for your small accommodation, you can plan your accommodation very early.
You need not construct one more house as you have only single child.

You need not write a will.
No nomination is required for operating joint bank accounts, joint investment instruments and joint stock investments.
Even if someone dies, others need not face any tedious legal procedures, time loss and monetary expenditure to enjoy them.
Movable and immovable properties can be easily registered in 3 joint names to avoid future problems.
Single child family’s property automatically multiplies with every generation.

Because of the population control, pollution reduces and you can breathe fresh air and live long.
Drastically reduces the birth of disabled children.
It will result in physically, emotionally and mentally stronger society, as the single child concept will encourage breast –feeding of babies.
As the human values grow up the crime rate comes down.
Alarmingly lowering of female birth ratio will come back to normal.
Because of literacy, intellectual, creative, scientific society takes shape.
Philanthropic activities will increase. Many social problems like child labour, child marriage, begging etc will be eliminated.
It will root out hunger/poverty/humiliation/stigma related to mass family suicides. Poverty/hunger related forced prostitution/sex trade will reduce.

Smallest family enjoys sound health as it has less risk of communicable diseases.
Maximum scope to organize and enjoy picnics and tours even at short notice.
Because of less expenditure, you can afford more picnics and tours.

Single child family economically benefits the most. You need to spend less and you can save more.
You will have real financial and mental freedom.
Only love and affection prevails in your family.
Comparatively you will have less transportation and communication expenditure.
If the bread earner of the family takes a long-term huge sum life insurance policy, on any eventuality the insurance policy amount itself secures the lives of the two.

Violence related to many regional disputes would reduce. Develops under developed countries into developed countries. Governments need not spend billions to implement family planning schemes. Drastically reduces the infrastructure expenditure of education, health, crime control, etc.

With the lightest burden and least problems SINGLE CHILD SWEETEST FAMILY directly contributes to reduce the ever-increasing population of the world and ultimately leads to the ever-dreamt WORLD PEACE.

In addition to them, small family will contribute in many ways to the society, country, to the world in addition to enhancing the ever dreamt world peace. Liberal awareness education will definitely encourage productive couple voluntarily, willfully to adopt family planning very effectively, rather than financial attractions or forced rules.

Persons who support idea of population control, support the cause by sending this page to the applicable/needy persons by email/give copy, multiply your friends and support Srimission
For Details visit Website:,

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