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Women’s Bamboo & Mud Building Apprenticeship

Kleiwerks International News Release

Women who want to learn natural building techniques have a unique opportunity at their doorstep this fall on Molokai. Kleiwerks International’s Women of the Americas Sustainability Initiative (WASI) is hosting a three-month Women’s Bamboo & Mud Building Apprenticeship. During the apprenticeship from September 15 through December 15 that brings together a group of Native Hawaiian and off-island women to live, learn and build. Apprentices will construct a start-to-finish prototype house for island residents, build a permanent community commons, develop leadership skills by facilitating local groups and working as a team, gain understanding of how one community is facing issues of “development,” and engage multimedia storytelling strategies to share with larger audiences.

Ideal apprentices are women who want to work in the natural building trades, start a business, teach, build their own home and the homes of friends, and be part of the growing ecological design-build movement. “This apprenticeship is an incredible opportunity to delve into natural building, as well as community connections with the people of Molokai who have a vision of combining Hawaiian culture and modern solutions for a sustainable future for their island,” said Emillia Noordhoek, Director of Sust`aina ble Molokai.

Alternatives to today’s mainstream construction industry are based on reclaiming and refining the use of local clays, bamboos and other abundant and recycled materials. Coupled with indigenous knowledge and permaculture design systems, natural building technologies play a profound role in creating ways of life that are good for people and the planet.

Host Emillia Noordhoek is the WASI delegate from the Hawaiian Island, Molokai, where she is executive director of Sust `aina ble Molokai and has spent years engaged with greening Hawaii’s building industry. Lead Instructor, Ilima Smallwood, is an architect who has been working with bamboo construction for nearly a decade. Instructor Char O’Brien’s experience in building with bamboo led her to manage a house building factory for Bamboo Technologies and work with the International Code Council (ICC) to create a bamboo certification process. Other instructors will be joining as well.

WASI is an alliance of women leaders who construct, educate, organize, and advocate for strong and empowered communities through ecological design-build practices with the aim of creating a socially and ecologically resilient world.

There are eight seats available for non-native women to participate. The fee is $5,000, including all expenses for three months. For details or to apply visit kleiwerks.org/WASI-Hawaii-Apprenticeship-2012/.


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