Arise Africa calls our headquarters in Zambia, "The Complex." The Complex was finished in the Summer of 2016, and it consists of a large building built out of shipping containers with a storage garage next to it. The Complex serves many purposes for Arise Africa. It is the location for our offices, all staff meetings, workshops, training, mission trip housing, and also is home for our full time American staff.
The Complex was built by a Zambian construction company. In an effort to save funding, the decision was made to build the Complex out of shipping containers. The total cost of the Complex would have been more than doubled if traditional block and mortar had been used. We worked very carefully to build a structure that could handle all of the various needs the ministry has. We wanted a facility that would be safe, comfortable, and accommodating, while also not spending much money. Arise Africa strongly believes that it is most important to spend our money in areas that directly impact the children we work with. This is why it was so important to Arise that the Complex served its purposes in the most cost effective way. We did not need anything fancy, but rather focused on keeping it efficient and comfortable.
Another major factor that went into building the Complex was ensuring that it was built by Zambians and could provide as many jobs as possible while being constructed. Arise Africa believes in supporting local craftsmen and businesses in every opportunity we have. In a third world country where the economy struggles and unemployment is high, this is vital in the war against poverty. We worked with a local trade school that teaches students carpentry to make us every single chair, table, bed frame, bunk bed, bathroom counter top, dresser, and more. Although importing can be less of a hassle, Arise feels that buying locally as much as possible is the only way to go. You have to support the country you are in first.
Arise Africa worked to salvage every part of a shipping container used. When the doors of the container were cut off, they became the sides of our kitchen island. The poles off the doors became the kitchen shelving units. After being cut out, the sides of the shipping containers were cut and re-welded to make a raised garden boxes and our gates. This saved many dollars throughout the project.
Take a look at the slideshow to learn more:
The complex also generates income for Arise Africa. When we do not have our own mission trippers on the ground, it is rented out to visitors and other non profits working in Zambia. Not only does the complex help Arise Africa run and be efficient, but generates income that goes right back to our mission of serving children.
COMPLEX FUN FACTS
- Main building is made out of 10 large shipping containers (40 foot) and 2 small ones (20 foot)
- The complex can sleep up to 33 people
- Building project took a total of 9 months
- Saves Arise Africa over $40,000 a year in office rentals, housing, and car parking
- Employs two full time Zambians
- Is a short bike ride away from both Arise Homes