An outpouring of joy: More than 200 children from Kiberia celebrated new prospects for the future at the opening ceremony.

Opening of new school in Kenyan slum: The very first PERI school provides opportunities for the future

In Kenia wurde die erste Schule im Rahmen des PERI Nachhaltigkeitsprogramms feierlich eröffnet

The very first PERI school in Kenya opened its doors at the end of February 2024 for over 200 children. In Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, the first school in the PERI sustainability initiative “Building Sustainability” was built in less than a year. In collaboration with the social enterprise “Start Somewhere”, PERI developed what are known as TwistBlock Moulds for hollow concrete blocks, which were designed specifically for use in slums due to the simple and flexible manner in which they can be used. The new school building has created not only learning spaces, but also new local job opportunities.  

28. 3月 2024
An outpouring of joy: More than 200 children from Kiberia celebrated new prospects for the future at the opening ceremony.

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Over 200,000 people live in Nairobi’s largest slum, where life on the streets dominates everyday life. Densely clustered corrugated iron huts leave the children barely any space to play, and an education is not something that can be taken for granted.

PERI lays the foundations for education and career prospects

To pave the way for vocational prospects, PERI, in collaboration with the non-profit organisation Global One Foundation, decided to build a new, three-storey primary school, which will provide ample space for play and education. Above all, however, it will provide pupils with opportunities for the future. After all, only those who can read and write will have the opportunity to find work outside the slums later down the line. 

Ceremonial opening of the first PERI school in the Kibera slum 

At the opening ceremony on 15 February 2024, PERI’s Andreas Mayer, Head of Corporate Sustainability, and Dr Jürgen Mayer, Business Development Manager, expressed their very best wishes in their speeches. The opening ceremony was complemented by an enjoyable entertainment programme. 

Since the school opened, nine classrooms have provided learning space for up to 225 children, while the top floor provides a welcome distraction from everyday life in the slums by offering plenty of space for fun and games. Water tanks on the roof and in the ground supply the school with water, while toilets and washrooms provide sanitary facilities that are rarely found in slums.  

“Education is very important to us, as it is the cornerstone for the children’s future careers. That said, this is not simply a school we are building. By producing the TwistBlocks locally, we are also creating jobs and helping people to help themselves. At PERI, we are very pleased that our network of participating companies such as Start SomeWhere and Global One Foundation is making these projects possible,” says Andreas Mayer, Head of Corporate Sustainability, PERI SE

PERI employees also played an active role in supporting the opening of the school. With the “Global Run to Nairobi” campaign held as part of the Einstein Marathon 2023, PERI donated €1 to the newly built school in Nairobi for every kilometre run by employees, with the money going towards school equipment. The high level of involvement meant that €10,000 was made available for furnishing the classrooms and purchasing whiteboards, books, benches and a cooker for the opening of the school.

TwistBlocks – a building block for new opportunities

The construction system offers many benefits. The TwistBlocks are hollow on the inside and also very narrow, which means that only a minimum of resources are required for production. What’s more, the TwistBlocks can be disassembled if necessary and reused to a maximum extent of 80%, making construction in slums particularly cost-efficient, safe and sustainable. Blocks are produced using PERI’s TwistBlock moulds in local factories in Kenya and South Africa, creating additional local jobs. 

The walls of the school in Kibera are made up of 7,000 TwistBlocks. The fire-resistant blocks feature an impressively simple plug-in system which, in addition to being quick and easy to use, allows the ground plan to be designed flexibly in confined spaces. The cavity inside the blocks also ensures good insulation and pleasant room temperatures in summer and winter. The construction process is therefore very straightforward and requires neither mortar nor trained bricklayers. With a construction time of only one year for the school building, the TwistBlock method sets new standards in terms of rapid construction.

PERI is aiming to build a new school every year as part of its “Building Sustainability” initiative. There are already plans for a PERI school in Cape Town and one in Manila. With this approach, PERI intends to set the ball rolling on new prospects for the future – worldwide. 


About PERI:

With sales of € 1,846 million in 2022, PERI is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of formwork and scaffolding systems. With a workforce of around 9,100 employees and well over 160 warehouse locations in more than 70 countries, the family-owned company with its headquarters in Weissenhorn (Germany) provides its customers with innovative system equipment and comprehensive services relating to all aspects of formwork and scaffolding technology.

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