Kimisagara Football for Hope Centre

View this project on the Open Architecture Network >

NEWS: KIMISAGARA FOOTBALL FOR HOPE CENTRE GETS HONORABLE MENTION IN SEED AWARDS 2011 Honoring extraordinary design projects in areas relating to socially empowering design


The centre is completed with possession being handed over to Esperance on the 21st November. The football pitch and lighting have yet to be installed, and we hope to have the containers on site in the coming weeks. The start of 2012 will see the implementation of the German Embassy funding for the rainwater harvesting works as well as fitting of custom made furniture. A opening ceremony is expected in early 2012


‘I am following the process of the construction of the FFH Centre in Kigali since December 2009. After all the difficulties which has happened it is a big success that the FFH centre is almost built and equipped. This would not have been realized without the efforts and energy which the responsible architect Kilian Doherty put into this project….. The building is designed in a way that it perfectly adapts to the context.’

Maren Kroger , GIZ/ Civil Peace Service. Technical Assistant at Forum des Jeunes Giramahoro, Maison des Jeunes Kimisagara

Thank you to all of our Architects, Contractors, and Professionals and Volunteers who have contributed to this program

Three Code Construction – Leonard Omari ( ‘the main man’) , Innocent Baguma, Edward Ngeera, Asaph Senimiro, Faustin Muhirwa, Majyambere Elie(Abdul)
Architect or Record, Lakes Consortium- Simon Karimba, Doryne Ahisimbisibwe and Frodouard Ngayaboshya (Clerk of Works) Ken Omolundi (Engineer)
Environmental Consultant , Eco Design and Protection – Richard Ngendahayo

Phaesun Ltd – Francis Hillman ( Solar specialist)
Great Lakes Energy – Sam Dargan (Solar specialist and installation)
Kcrea Signage – Jacques Bablion

Umutako Iwacu – Celeste, Louise, Muriel and the artisans for installing the papyrus weave

A huge thanks to all the additional funding bodies, volunteers and friends who have supported this project

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kigali – Thanks to Andrea Hensel and Nils Wagner , (Development Counsellor and Head of German Development Cooperation Burundi/Rwanda) for the large donation of 15,000 Euros which is going to the installation of the grey water system, a ceiling to the meeting room & library as well as the shelving for the library.

GIZ – Thanks to Tobias Witte and Henrik Schwappe for their generous donation of 1,5000 Euros from the Weltwarts project. This funding which went towards providing Esperance with fitted furniture

Induci Induci – Thanks to Alicia Cappelli for her vast knowledge in Rwandese traditional weaving techniques and her time given to helping communicate an idea into reality.

A special thanks to Nerea Amoros Elorduy, Yutaka Sho, Gerd Scheuerpflug and Bruce Engels for their continued architectural and moral support.

Finally a big thanks to the volunteers Tiffany Lau, Seung Jin Ham, Axel Stetler and Rui Peng for the amazing work on the physical model.

About the Campaign:
“20 Centres for 2010” is the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Its aim is to raise funds to create twenty Football for Hope Centres for public health, education and football across Africa. The centres will address local social challenges in disadvantaged areas and improve education and health services for young people. The Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha is the first of the 20 Football for Hope Centres in Africa. Read more about The Football for Hope Campaign

Kimisgara Community – Kigali – Rwanda

Design Statement:
The ethnic groups of Rwanda today still struggle with the legacy of the genocide in 1994. In the search for justice and peaceful co-existence, Espérance seeks to fight the ethnic divide of the Rwandan population through education and social programs, establishing “Football for Peace and Anti-AIDS” in 2002.The organization uses football as a tool for reconciliation, but also to facilitate life skills training and education for Rwandan youth. The proposed centre is located within the heart of the Kimisagara valley; the most densely populated, disadvantaged area in central Kigali with few opportunities for young people and alarming school dropout rates.

The site, located within a local primary school’s ground (ecole primaire de Kimisgara) is situated adjacent to a re-engineered water course (canal) and seasonal wetland prone to flooding. The design brief is a half sized football pitch and community centre with changing rooms, educational spaces and a multi-functional gathering space. The optimized orientation of the pitch (N/S) along with a desire to define and differentiate play spaces for the existing school, and a desire to activate the pedestrian way along the water course lead to the dynamic plan form of the project. Due to the steep hills, densely developed, rising in every direction from the site is easily seen giving the roof a prominent role as the fifth facade and identity to Esperance’s social space in the community. The informal route along the banks of the canal connects the proposed center with existing public facilities and the dense residential district. This route is of further importance to the surrounding community as it allows access to a source of water for washing clothes & bathing, as well as providing public space for informal vending and a training area for moto-taxi drivers.

Sustainibility Statement:

The primary building functions are contained within a simple block to minimize costs, whilst a generous shading roof with an extended canopy gathers the overlapping activities, defining new communal outdoor spaces demarcating play areas for the school, and activating the edges for both planned events and haptic social encounters. In addition to organizing external functions the roof harnesses all rainwater. Bi-annual wet seasons present the opportunity to a significant amount of water from the roof and from the large collection plane the pitch provides. Once captured, the water from the roof is stored and filtered for drinking. The football pitch water is used for flushing toilets, washing clothes and irrigation. Through this low-tech system we hope to capture 2.6 million litres of water and demonstrate a water security resource that can be easily replicated. The steel shipping containers used to transport the football pitch and its accessories from Europe, have been re-used and designed into the scheme as storage and a water tower which is equipped with solar cells that drive the water pumps. The pitch is lit with solar powered LED lights and will provide a welcome opportunity to play in the cool of the night. This approach is intended to reduce Esperance’s utility fees and provide a level of community resource security. Fenestration has been considered to optimize views to and from the pitch whilst maintaining privacy where needed by placing windows at high level, in turn facilitating the natural cross ventilation of rooms. Deep overhangs to the north and south also assist with the cooling of the interior spaces.

The use of concrete has been minimized to reduce costs, opting for local stone, brick and compressed earth where possible. Interior finishes are modest yet robust. Landscaping elements will focus on gabion seating for viewing games, with ground surfaces using local earth and volcanic stone. Intensive planting of a new grove of indigenous trees, to restore the riparian edge of the water course along with trees around the centre and other planting will provide shade, soil conservation and greenery within an urban district that lacks evidence of natural optimism.

Espérance Centre Vision:
To support the peace building process in the Great Lakes region and to strengthen inner Rwandan reconciliation.

Espérance Centre Mission:
To promote the responsibility, creativity and peace of the youth in Kimisagara, Rwanda and the Great Lakes region.The opportunity to combine health education, community work and income-generating activities and provides Espérance with the basis of sustainable development of both the community and the country.

Programs planned by Centre Host:
The Centre will be Espérance’s opportunity to combine health education, community work and income-generating activities and will provide Espérance with the basis of sustainable development for both the community and the country. The participation of other stakeholders, local, national and international is envisioned. Specifically the adjacent school will be heavily involved in the day-to-day programmes.

Football AMAHORO – Football for Peace Tournaments: once a month for 2 days, football tournament with special Fair Play rules (small size pitch, only female players score, no referees…), a lot of spectators (500 +), football teams (6 – 8 players)

Football Forum Theatre: Conflict analysis and resolution with the involvement of the audience by creating daily life conflicts – theatre on the football pitch. Events happen about 6 times/year, theatre training every week. Involves 12 to 15 actors/players, one facilitator, spectators.

Classic Football – Espérance has many teams (around 400 participants) from young children to young adults, new female teams. Playing will happen everyday, mainly on big pitch, small pitch will be used daily for trainings as well.

Language Courses, Catch Up Classes, Life Skills courses, First Aid Courses – Educational classes for group of about 25 people, will happen on a daily basis, ideally two classes on parallel.

IT Education: Computer classes, IT literacy and Internet (income generation) for about 15 participants, daily.Counselling: One-on-one counselling, including HIV-testing, about 10 counselling session per month in the first phase

Open Library: Library for pupils and adults for school revisions, preparations, personal interest

Beneficiaries of the Centre:

The final beneficiaries of the project will be vulnerable children, youth, and young adults with limited or no access to education in the informal settlement of the Kimisagara sector, enabling them to play an active role in Rwanda’s poverty reduction and economic development strategy.Target Age groups range from infants (1-6 yrs) through to socially disadvantaged, illiterate young adults (aged 18-27 yrs).

The centre will reach out to children and young adults, aiming to achieve the following results:

Improve their literacy skills, school attendance, life skills, thus increasing accessibility of Third level education and potential employability;

Develop enhanced health skills including personal hygiene, reproductive health, knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and nutritional health;
80 young adults and/or caretakers of the above mentioned children per year (400 in total) will:

Improve literacy and general life skills ;

Develop social skills, including improved self help capacities of the extreme poor, active citizen participation, increased sense of ownership and self responsibility; Through the partnership and cooperation with the local Government and non-state actors, they will: Build and enhance capacities in dealing with the challenges of extreme poverty, particularly with abandoned, disadvantaged and vulnerable children growing up in areas with harsh conditions with limited access to education.

Back to project overview