Two billion people worldwide live in poverty housing. That’s over 30% of the world’s population. Many of these people earn less than US $2 per day.
UN-HABITAT (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) Since its foundation in 1976, Habitat for Humanity (registered charity number 1043641) has enabled more than 250,000 homes, to be built in over 100 countries around the globe. Its aim is to advocate for changes in housing policy to break down barriers to decent housing, by working with volunteers and homeowners from all backgrounds, races and religions. Habitat for Humanity has enabled more than 1.1 million people in over 3,000 communities to renovate or build a safe, decent home.
Poverty housing leaves families trapped in a daily struggle to survive amid sub-standard, often inhumane living conditions. Poverty housing is overcrowded, promotes ill health and impairs a child's ability to succeed in school. It erodes hope and self-worth. It is demeaning and keeps poor people poor.
By taking part in a communitychallenge, you are helping to provide positive solutions to the issues of poverty housing. Your participation in building a new home can help to provide security and break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness that inadequate housing creates.
Essential tasks that you could be involved with include digging foundations, mixing concrete, moving and laying materials for walls and roofs through to planting trees. As part of our responsible commitment we help to create local employment and support the local economy, by staying in locally owned hotels, using locally owned transport, eating in local restaurants and employing local people for the programme. We ensure that clients experience a range of purchasing opportunities where they can buy locally produced goods, benefiting the smaller business. Local building supervisors are trained how to work with our teams, in terms of managing their time, expectations, and issues that may arise. Junior tradesmen are trained to manage others and those that show potential are given additional responsibilities.
In South Africa, as well as building houses for AIDS orphans, we are helping the country to overcome its history of apartheid. Local black men and women are trained as building supervisors and lead teams of primarily white western volunteers. More than a decade on from the end of apartheid, this is still a major issue and one we are helping to address. Many of these people are very poor and do not have work before the programme begins. In many cases, they learn their building skills on site and then go on to earn a living with their new skills. We also use local building materials and resources wherever possible which means reduced transportation costs.
We ensure that all staff at home and abroad operate within our guidelines for responsible tourism, are fully educated about our responsible tourism policy, and share this knowledge with project participants. We encourage participants to learn about and integrate with the host communities, and have respect for local customs and cultures. We also provide thorough briefings in country during the project. We minimise our environmental and social impact by limiting group size to an average of 15-20 participants and work with our local ground agents, hotels and suppliers to minimise waste. As well as the building element of the project, we organise a full evening programme which exposes the clients to the wealth of local cultural activities including traditional music and dance, visits to temples and shrines, experiencing local food and so on.
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