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The newly rebuilt MIE School is inaugurated!

What a beautiful school!

The Innovation Foundry MIE team in Mumbai did a remarkable job of organizing the local MIE volunteers and the Tribal villagers in the Sanjay Gandhi National Forest to come together and rebuild the MIE school that had been damaged by monsoons during the summer of 2010.  After several months of intense work by the Innovation Foundry MIE teams in Mumbai and Houston, our vision has been realized.  The MIE school has been rebuilt on the location of the previously damaged MIE school. The inauguration celebration took place on March 6th, 2011 in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai.

After the school design was developed by Javier of the Innovation Foundry MIE team in Houston in late February 2011, it was shared via email and Skype call with the Innovation Foundry MIE team in Mumbai. The Mumbai team then shared it with the local villagers for their review and input. Local villager input on the school design was insightful and local buy-in for constructing the design was invaluable.  The final school design very much integrated the years of experience and wisdom of the local villagers who worked whole-heartedly to rebuild the school with the Innovation Foundry MIE team in Mumbai. Because the villagers invested so much of their minds and hearts into the design and construction of the new MIE school, we are confident that the new school will be cared for and maintained over the years by the villagers.  Both the Innovation Foundry MIE teams in Mumbai and Houston will continue to develop enhancements for the school with the support of the local villagers.

The Innovation Foundry MIE teams in Mumbai (Ritika, Srishti, Priyam) and Houston (Javier, Peter) held a Skype call to discuss the lessons learned from this experience.  We will capture our learning’s for inclusion in a document for sharing with other social innovators.

The side view of the school.

The back view of the school. What beautiful concrete foundation, wall and roof.

Inside the new school.

MIE volunteers and the tribal students.

Behind the girl with the microphone is Srishti Arya, one of the founders of MIE. To her left is Ritika Arya, another of the founders of MIE.  Not pictured here is the third founder of MIE, Priyam Datta.

The support of the villager was absolutely critical to the success of the school reconstruction.  Kudos to the Innovation Foundry MIE team in Mumbai for building rapport and trust with the villagers through their unflappable conviction, indefatigable persistence, and unmatched diplomacy.

Pictured in the middle is Priyam Datta, one of the founders of MIE.

One of the students appreciating the new bamboo fence at the school.

Srishti Arya, a founder of MIE, peers out of one of bamboo framed windows of the new school.

The spacious inside of the new school.  Holes were pre-installed in the concrete foundation to make easy the insertion of bamboo poles for use as partition supports and easel stands.

This is why we did this.  Tribal children in their new school!!

A magic show as part of the inauguration celebration.  This whole effort felt a bit magical, but we know that a huge amount of hard work went behind the “magic” to make it possible.

Mumbai team breaks ground on new MIE School in Mumbai!

After the previous structure was demolished, the site was cleared. Marking was done on the plot where the new structure was to be built.

Then frame work pillars were laid, 8 tree trunks were used for the same. These trunks were brought from the jungle and have naturally occurring V shapes at the top. Then the framework of the roof was made using 30 bamboos of diameter 2.5 inches (approx).
Then the walls were discussed and the locals had to say that laying the bamboos horizontally would be a better option since there would be least contact of the bamboos with the floor. Thus there are lesser chances of bamboos rotting. Lesser number of bamboos would be required and no grooves would have to be made in the concrete. The challenge with making the grooves was that the thin bamboos themselves were of varying sizes and it was practically very difficult to make proportionate grooves. 

So finally we have completed four walls as of today and four more are left. Four windows of the size 2*3 ft have been made. Thin bamboos of approx.1 inch diameter have been used for the walls.

Once the walls have been completed they will make the door out of bamboos and frame the windows. Then the concrete foundation will be laid, followed by accessories such as the loops, the basin, the divisions, and the veranda boundary. And finally the roof will be covered with the new tarp and bamboo mats.


Monta Vista High School NTHS team

On February 22nd of 2011, Javier of the MIE Houston team engaged in a Skype call with the mentor and officers of the Monta Vista High School’s National Technology Honor Society (MV-NTHS) to discuss their desire to join the Innovation Foundry MIE as the team from Silicon Valley.  We had an enjoyable conversation about MV-NTHS’s desire to create a micro-finance program to support the MIE community in Mumbai.

Specifically, the micro-finance program would source funds from the USA for use in providing mainly micro-loans and to a lesser degree, grants to the MIE community in Mumbai.  The MIE community being the villagers that are served by MIE’s variety of educational and community building activities as well as the MIE organization itself. Our next step is to hold a three-way Skype call with MIE Mumbai team, MIE Houston team, and MIE Silicon Valley team.

Several members of the MV-NTHS team met Javier at the Innovation Summit presented by the Conrad Foundation during April, 2010 in San Francisco. They stayed in touch with Javier during the summer of 2010 and expressed interest in participating in the Innovation Foundry – MIE when Javier launched it later in 2010.

Design and Prototype for New MIE School by Javier of the Houston team

See the complete designs here: http://www.scribd.com/full/49477090?access_key=key-1zp0347end0dir5s5eu9

Javier with bamboo pole with blossom in tactshaving the bamboo of leaves using a machete

Javier trimming fresh bamboo for use in building a scale-model of his design for the MIE school.

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The beginning framework of the scale-model prototype for the MIE school based on Javier’s CAD design.

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Trying different methods to secure the joints of the house frame using only jute and no nails or wires.

by Javier Fernandez-Han.

Dismantling the damaged MIE school structure in Mumbai to make way for new one

posted by MIE Mumbai team:

“On Day 2, we pulled out all the pillars as well as the roof of the existing structure. We observed how deep those pillars were dug into originally and also sorted out materials that could be re-used for the new structure. The most interesting part of Day 2 was that the entire work was done by 4 Girl volunteers (Miteesha, Ketki, Ritika & Priyam) with the help of a few men from the community (you can see them in the photo numbered DSC00225). We felt very excited for ourselves as our “All Girl Gang” was able to pull it off! :P :)”

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See more photos of the MIE team in Mumbai: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1633754@N22/

posted by MIE team in Mumbai:

“On Day 2, we pulled out all the pillars as well as the roof of the existing structure. We observed how deep those pillars were dug into originally and also sorted out materials that could be re-used for the new structure.

The most interesting part of Day 2 was that the entire work was done by 4 Girl volunteers (Miteesha, Ketki, Ritika & Priyam) with the help of a few men from the community (you can see them in the photo numbered DSC00225). We felt very excited for ourselves as our “All Girl Gang” was able to pull it off! :P :)”

See more photos of the MIE team in Mumbai: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1633754@N22/

Updated design

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