Elodie Deprez and Karine Guillevic work on different projects in different countries. There is, however, a common denominator to their action: promoting sustainable architecture and taking concrete steps to widen its appeal.
Elodie Deprez is based in Rwanda, and Karine Guillevic in Burundi. While Elodie is participating in several construction projects, Karine is providing expertise on education projects dedicated to training aspiring young professionals in technical jobs. Despite these differences, both are working to make sustainable architecture more widespread in their respective countries.
Both Elodie and Karine enjoy the variety of their work. As a junior expert in sustainable architecture for the Urban Economic Development Initiative, Elodie can’t really say there are “typical days” in her work. “I’m working on infrastructure development, but also on private sector development, which means our projects are varied, the focus can be on roads, handcraft centres, local markets, and we are even constructing a youth centre.”
“I work with consultants and Rwandan companies on these different projects, but also on creating policies around circular economy, supporting companies in buying technology and supporting them towards a circular economy process. Besides, we are working in three different districts, so there is a lot of travelling to meet people on the different sites. This is also what I find exciting about this project: there are so many activities, and there is always room to create more.”
As for Karine, she works as an international architecture expert for a project that aims to answer Burundi’s needs in terms of infrastructure and equipment for vocational training centres. “We have many activities that all revolve around that objective. What I really appreciate is that, alongside the ‘classical’ approach of working with construction companies, we have started to organise ‘construction site schools’, construction sites that hire freshly graduated students. It gives them the opportunity to acquire a first professional experience while being coached by teachers and by experienced construction workers.”