This latest trip was organised for the Architecture “seedbed” by the Vice-rectorate for Internationalisation. One of the main objectives was to give continuity to the activities of the CEU project, 'Design of an Experimental Community in Makeni', funded by the Madrid City Council, within the grant call 'Grants for Research Projects on Global Citizenship and International Cooperation for Development 2021'.
The volunteers were also able to visit the construction works and make progress on the project "Improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene in 3 schools in Makeni", financed by Manos Unidas and Caritas Makeni. The design, which stems from a prototype created by the HD_LAB (Habitability and Development Laboratory) CEU in 2019 in Masuba and St. Francis schools, includes latrines with a septic tank, a water tank and a well. From this starting point, the technical project has been developed within the framework of the Postgraduate Course of the ICHaB (Institute for Cooperation in Basic Habitability) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), by the architects Fernando Navarrete (CEU alumni), Sandra Muñoz de Solano and Bárbara Díaz, who were able to join the trip and work in the field. For architect and project collaborator, Daniel Pérez, this was his seventh trip with the CEU group, while architect José Ascanio, joined in for the first time. Both are key players in all the actions and projects.
Likewise, after contacting the Water and Sanitation group of the UPM School of Industrial Engineering, Isabel Espejo, professor of the CEU Degree in Genetics, took along with her the "water kit", which includes a low-cost incubator, with the aim of testing the possibilities of this critical tool for water analysis in the field. In this way, the trip allowed an initial evaluation of the equipment and operation of the UNIMAK laboratories, with a view to possibly developing future projects with the Health group.
The trip also included a new initiative to support schools in Makeni, promoted by Hilda García, CEU administrative and service staff. The collection of material to be donated by CEU Montepríncipe School (notebooks, pencils, books, balls, sports equipment), was met with a very warm response from families, and was the start of a possible twinning activity between the schools in both cities.
All these actions are a continuation of a journey in which projects, solidarity, cooperation and values are woven from the human relationship between the two contexts, Madrid and Makeni. In January and April ), two groups of CEU Medicine professors travelled to Sierra Leone, giving continuity to the different projects in the field of health, and new trips for the different "seedbeds" have been planned for July.