Diébédo Francis Kéré was born in Gando, a small village in Central-East Burkina Faso, West Africa. As the eldest son of the Village Chief, he was one of the first children in the village to be sent to school. His father wanted him to learn how to read and write so that he could translate his letters. Since no school existed in Gando, Francis Kéré left his family at seven years old to go live with his uncle in the city. After finishing his education, he became a carpenter and received a scholarship from the former "Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft” to do an apprenticeship in Germany as a supervisor in development aid. After completing the apprenticeship, he went on to study architecture at the Technische Universität in Berlin.
Francis Kéré felt it was his duty to give something back to his family and the community that supported him throughout the years. He wanted to provide the next generation with the opportunity to follow in his footsteps. So, in 1998, while still a university student he set up the association “Schulbausteine für Gando e.V.”. With this association he was able to raise enough funds to build the Gando Primary School. The objective was to combine the knowledge he had gained in Europe, with traditional building methods from Burkina Faso. For Francis Kéré, Gando’s survival depends on its development, and the key to development is education. In 2016, the association was renamed "Kéré Foundation e.V."
"My work is first and foremost a social instrument. Its cultural, economic and environmental building solutions are always underpinned by a social process." - Francis Kéré
After completing his degree, Francis Kéré opened his own architectural office "Kéré Architecture” in Berlin. Since then, he has taught at The Harvard Graduate School of Design, and he is currently teaching at the Academia di Architectura di Mendrisio as a guest-professor and holds the chair in Architectural Design and Participation at the Technical University of Munich.
Chevalier de L'Ordre National of Burkina Faso | Primary School Extension
Kéré Foundation e. V.
Telephone : +49 30 78952391
Kéré Foundation e.V.
BLZ: 100 900 00
IBAN: DE19 1009 0000 5710 247007
Donations from Germany are tax-deductible. You will receive a contribution-receipt for donations over 200 €. For smaller amounts, a bank statement should be sufficient. Please contact your responsible tax office for donations from abroad.
Francis is the founder and chairman of the Foundation, as well as the Founding Principal of Kéré Architecture. In addition to developing international projects with private clients, Kéré Architecture also supports the work of the Foundation with pro-bono architectural design and planning.