1. CEU San Pablo University, Madrid, Spain
Habitability and Development Laboratory
The cooperation between CEU San Pablo University and UNIMAK began in 2009 as an initiative from CEU Volunteering Department to improve the capacities of the University of Makeni.
HD_Lab is a multidisciplinary work team consisting of students and professors from CEU San Pablo University as well as voluntary collaborators. The main goal is to address issues concerning habitability in developing countries from a wide and multidisciplinary approach through five main working areas:
-Academic. Working on Makeni City from different university subjects (design, urban planning, etc.)
-Sensitisation. Workshops, exhibitions, etc.
-Fieldwork. Direct contact with the actual context through several working trips to Makeni
-Research. Through academic and practical approaches
-Collaborations. Working together with other institutions and professionals
Dr. Luis Perea Moreno, Assistant Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning at CEU San Pablo, and Coordinator for International Cooperation, writes:
“I am writing to inform you that we will travel to Sierra Leone again, with a group of 13-15 people including lecturers from our University (CEU San Pablo), collaborators and few students. We will be in Makeni from 19 to 28 of January. The group includes Health, Urban Planning, Economics and Hummanities, as main fields. We have planned different activities for these days also working with the Makeni City Council and local communities in our Upgrading Neighbourhood Programme.”
2. University of Sheffield, UK
The link between UNIMAK and the University of Sheffield began in 2014 when Makeni Trust Fund trustees in the UK acted as intermediary with the University of Makeni, leading to an agreement for UNIMAK to host the placement of Sheffield students studying for the Masters in International Development.
The rationale for arranging a student placement is to provide valuable experience of working within a development organisation (UNIMAK) with scope to undertake a research project which is of value to UNIMAK but which will also be written up by the student for a Masters dissertation.
An added benefit for UNIMAK is that, in carrying out their work, the Sheffield students are also able to share their expertise with students and staff of UNIMAK.
Jessica Jones and Jonathan Griffiths were the first two students from Sheffield to take up the challenge in 2014. Further students have enjoyed successful placements in 2016 and in 2017.