Matipwili is a village in the western region of Tanzania, East Africa – with no electricity or running water. Scotch College and PLC in Perth established a relationship with the village over 10 years ago providing the opportunity for students to spend time in Matipwilii and offering assistance in renovating and constructing improvements for the local primary school. Teachers have also engaged with the local teachers and an ongoing provision of technology and materials for the school has supported the community service program.

An opportunity arose in July 2012 for a team of 11 Architects and Teachers from Adelaide and Perth to visit Matipwili and expand this established relationship. Utilising a ‘design thinking’ framework, the design team worked with the people in Matipwili focusing on observing construction techniques, methods of cooking, running small businesses, visiting their houses and posing questions about the way the community could be improved.

The design team and the village shared concern for those children who didn’t proceed with their education in to high school, expressing their vision for providing learning facilities for trades training.

The meeting of minds on the first day developed a design brief to include learning facilities for the training of mechanics, carpentry, joinery, tailoring, mat making and cooking. An uplifting moment came over improving conditions for the village women by suggesting a laundry facility to avoid the trek to the river everyday. The community kitchen will also double as an area for the school students from the primary school to use for lunchtime.

Over the course of the last 2 years- the design for the Trade Training Centre has commenced construction.