The One Heart Foundation is a charitable group that serves as a shining example of what architecture can do for the developing world.
One in every two children across the world live in poverty – this staggering statistic never sat right with ClarkeHopkinsClarke architect and partner Dean Landy. So upon visiting Kenya in 2007 and being confronted with the reality of poverty, Landy decided to do something about it, and founded the One Heart Foundation.
Through the generous support of a number of sponsors, unsurprisingly including ClarkeHopkinsClarke, One Heart Foundation now cares for approximately 75 orphaned and abandoned children in its self-sufficient Village in Turbo, Kenya.
“I think architects and urban designers play a pivotal role both here and around the world in addressing social problems and providing a creative link between our industry and the real needs on the ground,” says Landy on founding the foundation. “We have a responsibility to ensure the places we are designing can truly build stronger communities by integrating health and wellness considerations into an entire masterplan, not just considering the built form.”
This masterplan is a wonder of design, empowering local villagers rather than simply serving as a handout. Landy and ClarkeHopkinsClarke served as the designers of the plan, which includes four large homes, each housing 26 children, a primary school and a surrounding 21-acre farm, which features maize, dairy, fish and poultry projects. This not only generated foods for those living in the area, but a source of income for the village.
Construction is currently underway for four further classrooms, new agricultural projects and an upgrade for the school.
“Once established, the foundation will look to start replicating this model in other parts of the world to increase the impact we can make in the lives of disadvantaged, orphaned and abused children,” Landy says. “Our long term goal is to see generations of children be given the opportunity of hope, and see them turn from a life of despair to become the inspirational leaders of tomorrow… It is possible, and we are seeing it happen already.”
One Heart Foundation