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This project began when members of the local community undertook to renovate the local business center. This center, which not only provides basic business support and advice, gives free to minimal cost courses in English and computer programs and also provides a place for members of the local community to come together and socialize. Unfortunately, both within and without, the building has fallen into disrepair. To remedy this the community wishes to improve the center into not only a hub of business activity, but also a comfortable area for local citizens to relax and participate in civic life outside of their homes. The community currently has a wide range of outdoor tea houses and restaurants which cater to an almost exclusively male clientele, which limit local women’s chances to participate socially outside of their homes. The business center hopes to change this with a community garden where women and men may together partake in civic life in a neutral, healthy, and pleasant environment in what is a currently unused and dirty space. This is planned as part of the renovation of the business center, which the local planners have chosen to divide into two halves, one providing business support as a for-profit enterprise, the other a non-profit cultivating engagement in community life and offering an option besides male-only local restaurants for networking and socializing.
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