Ekialo Kiona  ”Worldwide” Center

The Ekialo Kiona Center is the trunk that supports the Organic Health Response tree on Mfangano Island. In the Suba Language, Ekialo Kiona can be translated as “whole world” or the “whole community”. This center seeks to provide space where both populations can work together to find creative solutions to local and global problems.   The “EK”, as we call it, is our HQ on Mfangano Island. Its our administrative umbrella, solar-powered field-station, training center, mountain bike shop, and favorite lunch spot.

EK Artistic Rendering

This 8,000 sq-ft facility features the following components:

    • Solar-powered Inveneo computer lab with broadband wireless Internet access
    • Confidential Voluntary Counseling and Testing  (VCT) rooms
    • Lecture hall, workshop rooms, and movie theater
    • Mountain bike repair shop
    • Organic demonstration farm and tree nursery
    • Solar-powered community radio studio
    • Large outdoor ampitheater
    • KEMRI certified research and data storage facility
    • Library local and international literature
    • Breakfast cafe and restaurant
EK from the ring road, 2013

EK from the ring road, 2013

World AIDS Day at the EK, December 1, 2011

EK Community Amphitheater on World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2011

The Ekialo Kiona Center is owned and managed by the people of Mfangano. The Ekialo Kiona Center operates as a community wide “Post-Test Club” providing unlimited free access to meaningful resources and services to all residents who agree to participate in regular HIV counseling and testing. EK Club members enroll and reactivate their membership through confidential HIV counseling and testing sessions with onsite counselors every 6-months.  Over 2000 members have joined the EK Club, and new members learn their HIV status everyday.

First Email at EK

First time internet users at EK

This center is built on land that was generously donated by Mfangano’s first organic farmer, a community leader named Joel Oguta.

Lauren, Joel and Richard and Adam discuss the EK layout on a pice of Joel’s donated farmland, December 2007.

Rather than hiring contractors from the mainland, we decided to build the EK ourselves. This open space facility was built by hand, over 3 years, by a team of over 60 local carpenters, welders and masons, who came to be known as the EK Sustianable Design Guild.

Led by Mookie Tierney, Adam Sewall and Gabby Ogweno the EK Sustinable Design Guild constructed this facility using a sustainable technique known as ferro-cement (an eco-friendly and cost-efficient building material). In the process, we were able to provide employment, training, and livelihoods for dozens of Mfangano families, and establish Mfangano’s first independently owned contracting company.

Onsite with the original Members of the EK Design Guild, January 2009.

Onsite with the original Members of the EK Design Guild, January 2009.

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Ferro-cement is similar to traditional African waddle and dob techniques, yet instead of mud, dung and branches, we use chicken-wire and high-fiber cement mix to build thin, long-lasting walls, domes, and arches.

The Evolution of EK…

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Original EK Design by Mike “Jagembe” Wilson, May 2008

EK Layout by Chas Salmen, December 2008

EK Layout by Chas Salmen, December 2008

EK axon

Original EK Design by Jenna Hines, January 2009

Floor Plan Pic

EK Floor Plan by Alvin Lihenzaro, March 2009

Ferro-Cement Vault Roof Design for EK Reception by Mookie Tierney.

Ferro-Cement Vault Roof Design for EK Reception by Mike Wilson.

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Final Design by Mookie Tierney and EK Design Guild, 2009

Solar Power Capture Diagram, by Mookie Tierney

Solar Power Capture Diagram, by Mookie Tierney

Banana Leaf Model of the EK Center by Mookie Tierney

Banana Leaf Model of the EK Center by Mookie Tierney

Stone by Stone…

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Fencing the Compound, December 2008
Clearing the site, January 2008.

Sam Okech and Kitawi kids clearing the site, January 2009

During construction, we purchased ballast and sisal fibers from local families, January 2009.

During construction, we purchased ballast and sisal fibers from local families, January 2009.

Foundation Trenches and the Original EK Tent, February 2009

Foundation Trenches and the Original EK Tent, February 2009

Digging the foundation trenches, March 2009.

Seth digging the foundation trenches, March 2009.

EK overalls

EK Guild Overalls

 

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The foundation is set, June 2009.

Pouring the Slab, July 2009

Pouring the reception slab, July 2009

Chas and Richard in the "Computer Lab", July 2009.

Chas and Richard in the “Computer Lab”, July 2009.

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Adam, Gabby, Mike, and Sam, framing the roof trusses over the “Computer Lab”, September 2009.

Community Meeting at EK, October 2009.

Community Meeting at EK, October 2009.

Mike and Gabby hand-welding the roof, December 2009

Mike and Gabby hand-welding the roof trusses, December 2009

Ferro-Cement walls ready for plaster... October 2009

Ferro-Cement walls ready for plaster… October 2009

The roof is up! December 2009

The roof is up! December 2009

Ferro-Cement Vault over the reception, January 2010.

Ferro-Cement Vault over the reception, January 2010.

EK Security Officer, Peter Otindo, in the Computer Lab, January 2010.

EK Security Officer, Peter Otindo, in the Computer Lab, January 2010.

The EK Entrance, June 2010.

Ferro-Cement Vault over EK entrance, June 2010.

Gabby Ogweno installs the first solar panel, August 2010.

Gabby Ogweno installs the first solar panel, July 2010.

Nearly Finished, August 2010.

Nearly Finished, August 2010.

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EK Today: Back Courtyard and Counseling Block

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EK Today:  Seminar Room with Large Screen Projector

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EK Today: Computer Lab featuring 15 Low-Watt Inveneo Workstations, 2012

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EK Today: Seminar Room

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EK Today: Mountain Bikes in the Rafters

 

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EK Today: Open Air Mountain Bike Shop

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EK Today: In the Tent

 

EK Today: Back Courtyard

EK Today: Tent and Courtyard

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EK Today: Front Steps

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EK Today: Staff Meeting