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Nicki Keszler Innovation Hub

It has been an honor to let Nicki’s light and legacy live on through our students in Kuwadzana, Zimbabwe.

We knew we wanted to create something beautiful and it was so much fun working with Nicki’s sister Paulina to design and build our second Innovation Hub. Blue was a favorite color of Nicki’s and the front exterior of the container is covered with flowers from top to bottom.

To build the flower wall, we drilled hooks into the container and cut roofing gutters to size. We filled those with dirt and by the time the flowers were dropped off, scores of school children, staff and the Headmistress herself, were there to help us plant the flowers, vines and succulent that will grow seamlessly up the walls.

Total community engagement – just the way Nicki would have liked it!

Image of the outside of the Kuwadzana Innovation Hub

For the inside, we went with a very modern and sleek feel. We ripped up the floors of the container down to its original layer, and sanded what was left, leaving just the exposed wood. We used plywood to cover the insulation in the walls and applied a clear varnish.

We used local labor for every part of the project, including hiring some older “sekurus” (grandfather or elder man in Shona) to weld the steel racks which would support the solar panels.

We installed two extraction fans and all of the glass windows & doors can slide open, so natural air keeps the container cool.

 

Image of the interior of the Nicki Keszler Innovation Hub

Nicki’s Innovation Hub is home to 20 young adults every year who are there to learn UI/UX Design, Front End Development, Digital Marketing & SEO and Leadership & Professional Development. Those 20 young adults are also responsible for teaching after-school coding to 1,000 students each year.

We hope you’re smiling down on us Nicki!