The Sauti Kuu Banda is situated directly off the main Ndori to Ngi’ya Road in Alego, Siaya. What is the Banda? It is from where Sauti Kuu operates and a safe space that offers young people a platform to meet and interact. These regular meetings serve as an outlet to discuss the day-to-day challenges and problems of young people in the rural area (Alego), to pro-actively come up with possible solutions. The space also serves as a recreational space where children and youth can engage in fun games and activities.
Construction works on the site was started on 6th April 2011. Sauti Kuu worked closely with Architecture for Humanity (AFH) facilitators on the design of The Banda. The idea was to work with the young people to integrate their expected uses of the Banda, the environment around the Banda and what the Banda would symbolize to come up with an appropriate design. The Sauti Kuu Youth attended AFH design workshops and discussions and completed a series of basic design sketches and building models that were then developed by Architecture for Humanity.
The end result was two buildings; one a pavilion (The Banda) that allows approximately 50 young people to meet for activities or workshops, and the second, with an office, storage room, small kitchenette and lounge area, as well as two guest rooms that are used to house Sauti Kuu staff during workshops. All the buildings were equipt with water tanks to enable harvesting of rainwater and a centralized filtration system was installed to provide drinking water. The use of wood for the high ceilings has optimized ventilation and keeps the buildings naturally cool despite the warm weather conditions of the area. Most of the work on the buildings was done using physical labour, with minimal use of motorized machinery.
An opening ceremony was performed on 7 June 2012 with local contributors, design team, clients and the Sauti Kuu Youth in attendance. The ceremony received special guests for the ribbon cutting: local elder Mama Sara Obama, the Village Chief and Local School Principal and Agricultural Council members – all who made speech contributions welcoming and praising the Banda centre and the projects that Sauti Kuu is endeavoring to undertake with the youth over the next few years for the benefit of the wider community .