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Gr icoHousing Center members participated in a two-week work camp and community service within Project:"Spreading Community Life Model" which was held in the period of June 20 until 3 July 2018 in Siera Evira, near Granada, Spain. The host was the Fundacion Escuela de Solidaridad, an organization that provides protection and necessary assistance to socially excluded and endangered, primarily mothers with children, immigrants, adolescents and adults belonging to risk groups.

The aim of the workshop was to get acquainted with "Bio-construction" and the construction of the facility, the joint forces of the participants in the work program and the beneficiaries of the Foundation. The building is a spherical shape, located within the Foundation complex and will be intended for children to play, mainly the beneficiaries of the Foundation. The workshop was moderated by architect Bernardo Sanchez of the Agritectura Association.

Through the realization of the workshop, we got acquainted with an interesting approach to construction with using recycled materials (used car tires full of sand - as a foundation on the ground) and natural materials (straws as building elements and mud as binder). The process itself required the joint work of volunteers who in the vast majority were without prior knowledge about the construction of facilities, and theoretical education on "Bio-construction" bring the way of construction closer to them.

Although the Housing Center team had experience with construction-related volunteering activities, such a workshop was even more challenging for organizers as participants came from more than 8 different countries and spoke in four world languages. Certainly good communication and organization was the key to the realization of this project.

The building itself is conceived as a sphere of mud protected walls made of straw, 50 cm thick and would be used for the youngest beneficiaries of the Foundation. The entrances are made of recycled larger-diameter tractor tires so that children can access the interior. Such an object concept belongs more to models, made in real size, rather than housing objects, because it does not meet the basic needs of housing. However, considering the concept of the use of natural and recycled materials and the potential high energy efficiency of the outer wall of the object, the workshop was useful and interesting. Also, the speed of construction and the idea that the construction of an object is possible without the preconditions of professional competence of the contractors themselves was interesting for developing the idea of self-construction in future projects.
Certainly the huge quality of the workshop was getting familiarize with the work of the Foundation, the way they approach to sensitive groups, their everyday life and socializing with the beneficiaries.

After the workshop, we returned home full of impressions and with the smiles of the youngest beneficiaries deeply engraved in memory. Thank you Fundacion Escuela de Solidaridad!

Besides the Housing Center representatives, the workshops was participated by the host Fundacion Escuela de Solidaridad, representatives of partnership organizations: Cooperative Sociale Artemide, Latiano, Italy; Organizata Shqiptare e Urdhrite te Maltes, Skadar, Albania; Ekologichno Sdruzhnie Prebalkan, Sofia, Bulgaria; Mary Seacole Housing Association, Luton, Great Britain. Together with the representatives of the organizations involved in Erasmus + project within the workshop, volunteers from Argentina, France, Morocco and Spain, as well as beneficiaries of the Foundations, also participated the workshop.

The Project “Spreading community life model: good practices exchange in the field of community life and housing for social excluded people” is financed with EU funds withing the ERASMUS + Program.

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