Association for a Better Life & Nora Feldmar
A fresh air for ROMA homes

The Synergy

Context

The main goal of this synergy project is to provide support to local communities and NGOs who wish to combine their community development activities with practical interventions concerning heating or cooking in order to reduce household costs for families and/or to provide community activities based on practical skills and sustainable practices (such as using locally sourced natural materials). The collaboration between Association for a Better Life and Nora Feldmar has been productive with a new stove project having been established alongside the biomass briquette production.

The

Structure

Eco – briquette project

Association for Better Life has been running since 2014 the biomass briquette project (or eco-briquette as they are well-known now) with local youth working in the production facility as part of their internship programme held in collaboration with the vocational high school of Kecerovce. They have drawn up a business plan and they started the small-scale sale of briquettes helped by Nora which visited the site of the briquette production and offered her expertise in order to make the eco-briquettes even more sustainable. The business has transformed ever since into a social enterprise.

Rankovce Stove Project

Association for Better Life (ABL) selected two disadvantaged families from Rankovce and asked Nora for ways in which their everyday life could be improved, especially in terms of appropriate heating systems. After a few months, Nora visited Rankovce with Edmund Morriss, a mechanical engineer from the UK, and together they started the project called ‘Rankovce Wood Stove Project’. In 2015, ABL together with Nora and Edmund, built a masonry heater and cooker for a family in Rankovice, which the family is still using. In 2017, they built an outdoor kitchen in the Association’s new community space in Rankovce; it features a rocket stove (a cooker which uses very little wood to cook food), a grill and food preparation area; all built from recycled materials and locally sourced clay.

The People

Involved

  • The local team – Franja, Ondrej and Ferko – were great at preparing and supplying everything needed for the build as well as hosting Ed and Nora for lunches and dinners in their homes during the implementation of Rankovce Stove Project
  • Nora Feldmar is an industrial ecologist and her work explores the way in which systemic thinking, appropriate technologies and community building can find solutions for vulnerable communities. She has been working as a pro-bono expert in in EFRoPA Project and taught ROMA communities in Slovakia and Hungary how to build houses with natural materials
  • The families from Rankovce who improved their homes in such a sustainable way
  • Roma and non-Roma youth who took part in all of the activities and started to create a community together