Versión en Español – WASI Spanish version

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If we are to save the planet as a living, healthy, natural place for all beings, women will have to lead.” Ana Elena Obando, WASI Delegate, Costa Rica

WASI is a Kleiwerks International Sustainability Initiative that is launching in 2012. WASI brings together ecological design build specialists with women from leading sustainability organizations.

Mission: WASI is an action-oriented alliance of women leaders who construct, educate, organize, and advocate for strong and empowered communities through ecological design-build practices, with the aim of creating a socially and ecologically resilient world.

Vision: We envision women leading the building of thriving communities that include healthy shelter, food, water and environments that are harmonious with the natural world and local cultures.

Goals: To inspire peer-based local, regional and global alliances of women who:
1) lead ecological design-build projects that affirm, revive and refine indigenous building practices,
2) generate local participation that builds thriving, empowered communities, and
3) create healthy, long-lasting and integrated environments that support the well-being of all.

WASI supports women, who make up 70% of the world’s poorest people and are subject to economic and social injustices more often than men. When women have the skills, leadership training, and support networks in ecological design-build practices and appropriate technologies so that they can build their own houses and community centers, can provide not only the means for basic survival, but for lasting security and self-determination. Women are powerful allies in sustainable development because they most often lead efforts to secure water, food, fuel, education and healthcare for their families and communities. Thus, women are in a prime position to connect deeply with, and implement new socially and ecologically sustainable practices. Training women to build environmentally, economically, and socially fair projects that serve their communities mobilizes them as a formidable force for change.

For the price of one house: Because of the phenomenal efforts of talented and dedicated women, the entire WASI initiative costs the same as a single-family home in the United States. Please join us in making a difference today:

WASI is an ongoing initiative that starts with a unique yearlong program with a Corps of 65 women, including: 15 Design-Build Specialists who provide technical project and program support, 20 Global Peers who support the storytelling and development of the alliance, and 30 Delegates who join in teams of two, representing 15 countries. The WASI Coprs gathers annually at one of our 15 in-country communities for a two-week training convergence in ecological design-build technologies and collective strategy work.

Throughout the year, our Corps works together to accomplish the following results:
• Construct 15 community buildings (1 per country)
• Host a total of 15 Women’s Apprenticeships (1 per country)
• Train a total of 150 Apprentices to be strong leaders in this movement (1 per country)
• Work with a total of 1,500 community members (100 per country)
• Share the collective story with millions of people through news and social media, websites, blogs, photographic books and video documentaries

By training a powerful corps of women leaders, uniting their skills and experiences, constructing local building projects, joining marketing forces and tools to raise funds for projects, and creating network support, WASI will fuel women-led, social and ecological movements that honor and care for people and the Earth.

At the two-week training convergence, WASI’s women will engage in strategic alliance building and development through women’s leadership activities, as well as planning around projects, programs and outreach. We will share best design-build practices through the daily hands-on construction of several projects. The focus will be on the use of local, natural and free materials, rapid construction, solutions for areas that suffer natural disasters, and buildings that can be made without machines or electricity, including:

Natural wall systems: Adobe, strawdobe, cob, slipstraw, wattle and daub, paja reke, chorizo, strawbale, compressed earth block, super adobe/earth bag
Wood-fired heating and cooking systems: An earthen stove, earthen oven, solar cooker
Foundation systems: Drainage, foundations, earthen floors
Roof systems: Living roofs, connections to earthen walls
, water catchment
Natural finishes: Exterior and interior earthen plasters and paints, sculpture
Building systems: Installation of windows, doors, electric, plumbing
Wood building: Timber framing and/or round pole construction, bamboo in temperate climates
Design systems: Permaculture, passive solar, “A Pattern Language”
Water and waste systems: Rainwater and waste catchment, filtration, and re-use

Participation in WASI is by invitation only. Upon completion of Year One, the 65 women will become Affiliates of Kleiwerks International, receiving further support and helping to grow the WASI collective as a formidable force of women leaders across the Americas. The team will perform the following tasks throughout the year:

30 Delegates
Delegates will join in teams of two, representing 15 countries. Throughout the year, they will: 1) Work with their local communities to construct buildings that serve local needs, such as schools, council halls, healing sanctuaries, birthing centers, etc; 2) Train a minimum of 100 people how to do the same by including them in the design-build process; 3) Share updates, photos, videos and community testimonials; 4) Provide feedback and support to the WASI Alliance.

20 Global Peers
Global Peer teams support: 1) Media, 2) Logistics, and 3) Fundraising. Their focus is on PR, multimedia storytelling, documentation, fundraising, partnerships and growth of the initiative as a whole.

15 Design-Build Specialists
Design-Build Specialists will provide technical and programmatic instruction and expertise for the design build projects and the field projects, as well as overall organizational and global network support for WASI.

Other participants
If you would like to participate, there are available positions and community partnerships for groups and individuals. If you are interested, please contact

• Two-week leadership training convergence: November, 2012. Place TBD.
• 15 community building projects and trainings in progress: Ongoing, starting April 2012
• Monthly community media updates: April 2012 – March 2013
• Quarterly conference calls: Starting March 2012

There are multiple ways to participate in this movement!
Find out how here