Brick making

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
— Maimonides

That is the approach REVE Kandale took in 2017, albeit with a certain twist. The vision of the Kandale community and of REVE Kandale is to build a modern education complex that the people of southern Kwilu Region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be proud of. That means putting up a lot of buildings constructed to rigorous standards that can withstand the punishing nine-month rainy season.

Thus, instead of raising money to buy bricks for a single school block, we purchased a manual brick-making machine with the capacity to produce 1,000 stabilized bricks per day. The people of Kandale are used to using their sweat and determination to form crudely molded bricks, one by one, to put up solid buildings. They did just that in 2011, using a crude brick form to make the thousands of bricks for Kandale’s first new primary school in decades.

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Before… Capacity: 28 bricks a day. Maximum time to cure: one month.

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After…Capacity: up to 1000 bricks a day. Maximum time to cure: 3 days

Fast forward to 2018. With the new manual machine that arrived a few months earlier, the Kandale community made more than 17,000 bricks in a matter of weeks and constructed a new multi-use education building in less than three months.

And that is just the beginning.

We are looking to start work on new classrooms in 2019, and ultimately we expect the brickmaking machine to become an important source of income as surrounding villages come to Kandale to buy bricks for their own schools and houses.

Teaching a man to fish and providing the proper tools with which to build a better life flow from the same philosophy: Opportunity is what really counts, and it is the responsibility of those to whom opportunity is given to make the most of it.

The Kandale community is doing just that.