In our new Appropriate Technology (AT ) area, we are creating environments that provide an experience of being in a developing country. Organized around the basic human needs of food, water, and shelter this experience will provide the perspective and context for our AT demonstrations. These theme areas will add contextual depth by creating a village-like experience that helps people envision how AT is used around the world and enhances the learning and training aspect for key individual technologies.
The existing AT Center will serve as a staging area to introduce the concepts that will be covered. From there we will establish regional setting to demonstrate lifestyles on various continents, focusing on the accessibility of food, water, and shelter. Each area will have a traditional house to display how the technologies fit into daily life. These traditional houses will demonstrate various aspects of construction as well as highlight the theme area technologies. In the center of this space will be a Village Market that serves to connect the areas and to display additional technologies.
By creating this village-based atmosphere, we will be able to include natural places to facilitate training and utility. This will provide a multi-function aspect where we are able to both display technologies like our stoves or threshing equipment while at the same time, actually use them for cooking or processing rice. This expanded AT space will help us achieve our objectives of education and training by providing a tour experience that highlights and explores basic human needs and by providing suitable places to teach and allow people to gain hands-on experience. It will also assist in the general support of ECHO’s farm activities by providing functional work areas for staff to process farm products. In addition, we would like to take advantage of the opportunity presented by this expansion to create training experiences.
This expansion is being funded by generous donors who believe in the power of appropriate technologies to reduce hunger and improve lives through ECHO. Concrete was also donated by Preferred Materials. Their Fort Myers office provided the base to help construct our handicapped well display and village marketplace. We are truly grateful for these generous donations.