Local Humanitarian Nonprofit Designs Sustainable Facilities in Developing Countries

 

When Prineville couple Teryn and Daniel Wiens first heard about the need for a new pediatric residential physical therapy facility to be built in the Southern Province of Rwanda, they knew they could help. 

Daniel is the founder of the nonprofit, Journeyman International (JI), that provides architecture, engineering and project management services to humanitarian and development organizations.The nonprofit connects university students and professional volunteers with organizations around the world to build affordable and sustainable facilities in developing countries. His wife, Teryn, is a physical therapist at Rebound’s Prineville clinic. 

The model for JI was born out of Daniel’s undergraduate thesis project as a construction management student at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo to design and build a dental clinic in Belize through the nonprofit Global Outreach Mission. Since its inception in 2009, JI has completed more than 132 design proposals in 43 countries, with roughly 500,000 design hours and 10 million dollars worth of services donated to its humanitarian partners. 

Several years ago, JI partnered with the nonprofit, Make a Difference 4 Africa, to design a new building for the ASFA Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre in Muganza, Rwanda. Completed in August 2020, the facility primarily serves pediatric patients with disabilities, and provides both inpatient and outpatient physical therapy services. 

Teryn served as an adviser to the design team, drawing on her expertise in physical therapy. “As a PT, I knew what things would be helpful and practical for therapists and patients in terms of the building design,” she said. 

The Wiens are planning a trip to Rwanda to see the finished building this spring. Teryn said she looks forward to seeing the physical therapy facility in use after helping to design it. “It was gratifying to be able to give back not only to the (physical therapy) profession but to this community of people,” she said of her experience working on the project. 

Teryn said she hopes to continue using her background in healthcare to help design and identify future JI projects. As a medical provider, she understands the importance of access to quality healthcare. “People in other countries need the same medical services as we need here in the United States.”