BLUE WING -WINGS FOR CHANGE- 「Fighting for the right to live in a safe house Because everyone in the world should feel safe at home」

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Elizabeth Hausler

For Elizabeth Hausler, safe housing is a basic human right. She argues humans are to blame for houses collapsing after an earthquake. Elizabeth created Build Change, which overhauled the approach to building homes. Their expertise is helping residents, engineers and governments in emerging countries.

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The BLUE WING Program allows me to protect 100 children in Indonesia and Guatemala to make their schools earthquake-proof

Elizabeth Hausler

STORY OF CHANGEMAKING

I realized my calling after seeing the collapsed housing after an earthquake.

imageMy father ran a construction company, so I loved construction and buildings since my childhood. Naturally I went on to study civil engineering as an undergraduate and onto graduate school. As I studied, I realized I wanted to be close to the people who use the buildings, and not become too technical.

In 2001, a massive earthquake hit the Indian state of Gujarat. When I saw the flattened houses, I was in great shock. Safe housing should be a human right. I realized this was not a natural disaster, but a manmade tragedy. I had to do something with the knowledge I possess. This was my calling.

In 2003, I went to India as a Fulbright scholar to help with post-earthquake recovery while doing research. I soon realized that technical issues did not cause the damage. At the time, NGO groups had donated housing, but the residents were dissatisfied. No one had bothered to ask them what they wanted. The housing did not meet the local climate or customs. For example, in this area, toilets were normally built outside of the house, but most of the donated housing had toilets inside. I felt this kind of aid was meaningless.

Breaking conventional wisdom about homebuilding to end man-made disasters

imageInstead of trying to impose foreign-designed houses on local residents, I decided it was essential to work closely with local residents and get them involved in rebuilding. This is important in building safe housing. By training the locals in basic architecture and construction, they are able to check if the housing is safe and spot the misuse of funds. If the residents themselves take safety into their own hands, there will be less man-made disasters. Also, by hiring local engineers and builders, we can contribute to local economies.

I wanted to fundamentally transform the approach to homebuilding, so in 2004, I founded Build Change. We mainly provide low-cost, highly earthquake-resistant designs and training of local residents, engineers and government officials. We even hold a bricklaying contest so we don’t forget to have fun. This actually dramatically improved the workers’ skills in building sturdy brick walls.

Safe homes and schools for 10 million people. It’s only the beginning.

imageBuild Change's first project was in Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami. Since then we’ve expanded to Haiti, the Philippines, China (through 2011), Colombia, Guatemala and Nepal and are currently active in six countries. To date we have built 48,738 disaster-resistant buildings, providing safe homes to 245,026 people. This generated jobs for 10,956 engineers and builders; 25,363 workers received our training. But we are not done. Our next goal is to build safer housing and schools for 10 million people over the next 10 years.

Until now, I’ve devoted all my energy to providing the knowledge and technology, and have shied away from publicizing Build Change. But now I know the importance of getting our message out there and talk about what it is we do. I want to pass on our knowledge and expertise to as many people as we can. There are people all over the world who want safe housing and schools. We will not cease until everyone can live in safe housing, work in a safe environment and study in a safe school.

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PROFILE

Portrait of Elizabeth Hausler

Elizabeth Hausler

Resided in India in 2003 to assist with the rebuilding and study reconstruction after the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. After realizing that local residents should have knowledge to build safe housing, she founded Build Change in 2004. 70% of managers at Build Change are women. Many of the trainers are also female. To ward off jet lag, Hausler relies on running and yoga before flights.

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ANA BLUE WING
2019.09.26
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Tech and the Gender Gap Shivani took part in the Women Deliver 2019 Global Conference in Canada, as a panelist for a conversation titled: "The Power of Tech: How do we best harness technology for gender equality?" She was joined by Melinda Gates and several other notable guests. Shivani shared how Tala helps enable financial agency, particularly amongst women, and serves to empower them to make a difference in their lives and communities. Melinda Gates echoed the importance of doing this: “...if we want to use digital technology to close gender gaps, women MUST be part of building and designing it”. https://youtu.be/OaAr20GkkEY   For more information about Elizabeth’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/2lWEgdc #ANABLUEWING #elizabeth
ANA BLUE WING
2019.09.25
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Build Change Signs Transformational Partnership Agreement with the National Housing Ministry of Colombia! Build Change recently launched a three-year partnership with the Ministerio de Vivienda de Colombia (National Housing Ministry of Colombia) where Build Change will provide expert training and technical expertise to the Casa Digna, Vida Digna (Decent House, Decent Life) program. Over 10 million Colombians live in houses that are weak and likely to collapse in the event of an earthquake. “This program aims to improve 600,000 housing units, 120,000 of which will be with the National Housing Ministry, and which will include structural reinforcements as well as other types of interventions.” Build Change shared this wonderful news through their Facebook page. https://buildchange.org/locations/colombia/   For more information about Elizabeth’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/2m0i9T1 #ANABLUEWING #elizabeth
ANA BLUE WING
2019.09.23
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RMS Honored with the Risk and Resilience Award RMS(Risk Management Solutions, Inc.) was honored with the Risk and Resilience award for its work with Build Change in Colombia at the British Insurance Awards. Managing Director of Capital and Resilience Solutions, Ben Brookes, commented on the recognition: "This award recognizes Build Change’s amazing work, and how RMS analytics helps drive understanding of resilience investments at all levels from local to national. As this initiative in Colombia shows, working together we can prove the effectiveness of retrofitting against earthquakes and demonstrate that focused structural planning can save both lives and money, for families, governments, and countries."   For more information about Elizabeth’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/2kvnYHS #ANABLUEWING #elizabeth
ANA BLUE WING
2019.09.17
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Could We End Earthquake Deaths? Dr. Elizabeth Hausler’s father was a bricklayer, and she and her sister learned the trade starting as a young girl. Today, she works to prevent loss of life and property in earthquakes and hurricanes due to poorly built housing. Earlier this year, Elizabeth sat for an interview with Freethink Media to talk about how the root of the resilient housing crisis has to do with three things: money, technology, and people. Build Change addresses all three challenges and as a result, has already made over 300,000 people safer. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=398809050988415   For more information about Elizabeth’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/2lIULcs #ANABLUEWING #elizabeth
ANA BLUE WING
2019.09.16
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Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day! International Women in Engineering Day was first launched in the UK by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) to celebrate its 95th anniversary on June 23rd, 2014. The event has grown to international stature since 2017 largely due to the support of participants from the previous years. Elizabeth, being one of women involved engineering deeply herself for long, took the opportunity to celebrate those "MANY talented women engineers and construction professionals... who build disaster-resilient housing around the globe" with a thank you tweet. https://twitter.com/BuildChange/status/1142798656027942913   For more information about Elizabeth’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/2lIWQFg #ANABLUEWING #elizabeth
ANA BLUE WING
2019.07.24
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The 2019 Call for Code Challenge On World Health Day (4/7), IBM announced the details of their "Call for Code" 2019 global challenge, seeking "practical, effective, and high-quality applications based on cloud, data, and artificial intelligence that can have an immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues." Build Change came in runner-up in last year’s challenge, which involved over 100,000 developers from 156 nations that built 2,500 apps with IBM Cloud Technology to reduce the impact of natural disasters. Build Change encourages all qualified organizations to participate in this year’s Call for Code for a chance to win the $200,000 prize and create a positive impact. For more information about Elizabeth’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/32m1JoR #ANABLUEWING #elizabeth

CHANGEMAKER