The Centro Mãos na Terra exists in thought since 2006, when the architect Márcia Oliveira, at the time still a student at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, in Portugal, developed her degree completion thesis on the topic "Mãos à Terra - Construção a baixo custo para Moçambique" (Hands to the Ground – Low Cost Construction to Mozambique). Since then, her career has been geared around that subject.


Indonesia / Delivering a new home to one of the families affected by the tsunami at the Indian Ocean, which occurred in 2004 in Sigli, under the post Tsunami reconstruction program undertaken by the Architect d'urgence organization

In 2008, under the programme of post-tsunami reconstruction that occurred in the Indian Ocean in 2004, she was 6 months a volunteer in Indonesia, with the Emergency Architects Foundation, developing and monitoring the construction of houses to rehouse the population affected by the earthquake. In 2009, she settled in Auroville (international community in southern India) where she worked for 2 years in architectural offices, proving to be a very rich experience in the diversified learning of local construction techniques, environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Today, in Mozambique, the country where she lived throughout her teenage years and where she currently lives, after the invitation and exchange of ideas with the founder of the NGO The Big Hand for children’s, decides to take forward the implementation of this dream. This way, she moves to the creation of a centre for training, research and development of ecological and cost effective construction techniques. This centre aims at creating tools that allow the people of Mozambique to significantly increase housing conditions and its future sustainability. This is a project born in Mozambique and for Mozambique.


India / Project meeting with the Director of the industrial unit Upassana, on the expansion project of textile design and production unit in Auroville.


Mozambique / Meeting with the population covered by the rural resettlement project promoted by the company Nestlé, in Dondo