The Eco-Block Making Project is an initiave of the Orissa Nari Samaj (ONS) women’s group, a federation of 54 tribal women's organisations, established by Team for Human Resources, Education and Action Development (THREAD) last year.

Since attending the Ethos Global sponsored Ecological Design Education (EDE) presented by THREAD in 2014, young women have continued to go from strength to strength, meeting to design and implement new courses for young Indigenous women to develop useful skills that will help build the capacity of their community.

The Eco-Block Making Project, will train students selected by the ONS to make bricks from local clay, earth and grasses that do not require firing and have natural insulation properties. The women will form a team to tender for local government construction contracts, including infrastructure currently underway in social welfare programmes. These contracts are normally taken up by middle men from cities; this project will to empower women to become designers and buiders instead of only load-bearers in local construction projects, meeting the Ethos Global objectives of training people in practice of social and economic justice.

The students will also be instructed in the basic theory and practice of permaculture, and the social benefits of supporting the tribal women’s organisations to become sustainable.

A block making brick machine will be donated to the students to start their venture in the local areas after the training.

Odisha, India
G. John Susa

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