a re-housing projector scavengers in the philippines

DEDON and the Dekeyser & Friends Foundation cooperate on social re-housing project for scavenger Families in Cebu, Philippines.

Text by Rouven Steinfeld, Photos by Rainer Hosch 

In 2009 DEDON founder Bobby Dekeyser fulfilled a life long wish and started the private Dekeyser&Friends Foundation with the aim to inspire young people worldwide to follow their own dreams in life. The foundation’s aim is to create an educational movement that enables young people to come together in multi-cultural groups and engage in unique hands-on learning experiences with inspiring mentors. 
In 2009 successful projects took place in Germany and Turkey. During the weekends all young scholarship holders participate in a leadership program that supports them to plan their future. Once returned from their project, each former Fellow has the chance to apply for funding for their ideas and thus turn dreams into realities.
Dedon Compostela 01
Dedon Compostela 04

In the current project 17 Fellows from 14 different countries spend six months in the Philippines on scholarships to learn from experienced community developer Dr. Heinz Kulüke how to re-house scavengers who live on garbage dumpsites.

The Cebu Re-housing Project is thereby the setting for a unique cooperation between DEDON, Dekeyser&Friends, Paris based designer and architect Jean-Marie Massaud and Philippine NGO JPIC-IDC. DEDON’s longstanding social efforts in Cebu led to offering its unique weaving and handicraft skills for the development of a new village that re-houses 50 families, which currently live on a garbage dumpsite.

For the past year Jean-Marie Massaud and his partner Daniel Pouzet have together with the Community in Cebu developed the architectural set up for the village as well as an innovative housing prototype fusing western technology and Philippine traditions such as woven walls and expandability.

It thus came almost natural for DEDON to contribute to this innovation of a house model that includes woven walls. DEDON built the prototype of the new house and moreover has pledged to donate its synthetic and durable DEDON Fibre to the future villagers. It will also support the beneficiaries by providing training, which will furnish them with weaving skills.

These new skills will not only allow the scavengers to contribute an essential part to the completion of their houses but further provide them with a sustainable income opportunity afterwards in the export market for woven goods from Cebu. This combination turns the construction of a new social housing village into an opportunity to escape dire poverty and unemployment.

Dedon Compostela Sketch
Dedon Compostella
Both the re-housing project for the scavenger community and the associated Dekeyser&Friends Project promise to have a sustainable impact on the lives of their participants and beyond, not least because of the broad cooperation between local NGOs, international foundations, socially responsible entrepreneurs, designers and highly motivated young individuals willing to make a change.

For more information on the Cebu Re-housing Project and the educational programs of the Dekeyser & Friends Foundation for young adults between 18 and 28 please visit:

Dekeyser & Friends Foundation
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