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RIBA backs Bath Tsunami students

The RIBA has given its backing to a group of students from the University of Bath who are hoping to gain professional experience in one of the Tsunami-affected countries.

The students have already met twice to 'narrow down the field of possibilities' and have been sharing information and contacts for investigation through RIBANet - the members' internet forum.

Gregory Cowan, the institute's education projects coordinator, said: 'We would like to support students' interests and professional development in architectural voluntarism, disaster recovery and community development.

'The approach would be to seek to support members' initiatives of capacity building and to support international collaboration, approaching development work with careful assessment of context, and being involved with colleagues abroad ethically and sustainably.' He added: 'There are so many NGOs and voluntary sector organisations that it is difficult for those students interested to know where to begin.' The project follows a similar scheme set up by the University of Edinburgh, which will see a group of seven architecture students travel to Tanzania to construct a new youth vocational training centre.

The team will be working in conjunction with Quest Overseas, which has helped to organise grass-roots projects in the country involving students since 2001.

More details of the Tanzania scheme can be found at www. questoverseas. com/project quest/tanzania_1. htm

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