Construction phase 1: The construction of the ground floor of Oloo’s Children Centre

Construction phase 1: The construction of the ground floor of Oloo’s Children Centre

The construction of the new Oloo’s Children Centre has been in progress since May 2020. Growing numbers of students, great heat and hygienic problems of the previous school led the slum dwellers to approach us from Start Somewhere for a new school building. More about the reasons for the school building and our work before the construction project are described here.

During construction in Kibera, the special circumstances of the slum had to be taken into account. Therefore, we relied on high-tech planning with highly complex tools and low-tech execution by our experienced and partly trained craftsmen. The sketches of the school, created by architect and project initiator Oliver von Malm using special programs and algorithms, served as the basis for the practical implementation by the team on site. A workshop prepared the workers for the processes.


We have listed the individual steps of the first construction phase here so that you can easily imagine the process from foundation to ceiling.

  1. The Oloo’s Children Centre, which had become too small, was already demolished in March. Temporary corrugated iron houses in the typical local style were built for the teachers living on the premises.
  2. Now that the old school has been demolished, the ground needs to be levelled to pour the foundation. The first row of stones must be as straight as possible. Our team on site managed to do this at the first go.
  3. Finally, our concrete hollow blocks really come to the game. Block by block, row by row the first floor of the school is being built. Thanks to our Start Somewhere concrete blocks, this can be done up to 10 times faster than a regular wall.
  4. Now the windows and doors are also placed in their intended openings. A local welder from Kibera made them in his workshop for the school.
  5. One challenge in building was the floor slab. Since our hollow concrete blocks also allow rounded and stepless walls, the formwork of the ceiling must also be partially rounded. Six talented local carpenters used a circular saw to work the slabs perfectly into place.
  6. The ring beams also had to be bent for the round walls. This was also mastered immediately by our technically gifted team. Afterwards the intermediate ceiling was successfully caste

The first construction phase and thus the construction of the ground floor have now been successfully completed. The second phase will begin shortly, as soon as the local team of the manufactory has produced enough blocks.