Going Beyond U.S. Borders
Translating Habitat’s Mission for a World in Need By Ramaula Dickson
Habitat for Humanity Publication Volume 1 Issue 3
maintain a uniform spirit by focusing on common principles instead of divergent methodologies and procedures. Outside the United States, afﬁliate operations tend to center around three essential tasks, aside from construction, according to HFHI program support director Karan Kennedy: collecting house payments, raising funds and selecting families.
In Bulgaria, HFH Soﬁa executive director Atanas Petrov helps Stefan Enchev, 8, with his homework. Stefan’s parents have been approved for a Habitat house.
As if the plane ride hadn’t been enough of a clue, all the volunteers from Northern Ireland had to do to remember they were in a very different place was listen. Mortar? Try dhaga. Good morning? Emolweni. Party? Instead of the Gaelic ceilidh, it was imbizo. These 18 volunteer builders visited South Africa and experienced ﬁrst hand one of the challenges of Habitat for Humanity afﬁliates separated by distance, climate and culture: What works for one location may not make sense in another.Yet, despite differences, Habitat afﬁliates manage to
Since a high repayment rate is one of the most visible indications that an afﬁliate is doing well, afﬁliates often struggle to resist the urge to seek out middle-income homeowners who are more likely to have the resources to make timely payments. To work with truly low-income homeowners, afﬁliates run the risk of selecting a family that may not be able to make payments in the face of illness or job loss. At Habitat for Humanity Los Tuxtlas in Mexico, each community manages a revolving loan fund made of members’ contributions and proceeds from community fund-raising activities. Members may use the fund to take out a temporary loan to cover their Habitat house payments in hard times.
and auctions, while in-kind donations supply materials. At a national level, corporate partnerships, such as the partnership between Marriott and Habitat afﬁliates in the Latin America/Caribbean area, boost income as well as raise awareness of the organization. Marriott partnerships in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Guatemala have raised thousands of dollars while involving Marriott employees on the build site.Global Village trips are an increasingly popular way for afﬁliates to raise funds, elevate public awareness of their activities and boost their construction capacity.
Dec/Jan. 2005 Volime Issue 3
2 Community Donates Supplies
Habitat goes to Antartica Meeting Cultural Needs Rosa Zakaria (left) and Yasin Juma, local committee members at Habitat for Humanity Igunga in Tanzania, discuss new training materials that will support them in their efforts to reach more families in need.
Call for Volunteers
Community Calendar Habitat Founder Speaks Around the World
Making a Difference
Habitat for Humanity’s founder and president, Millard Fuller, travels widely around the world sharing Habitat’s message. Dates are subject to change. Please call ahead to conﬁrm.
Geauga County HFH in Ohio. Call Arthur Krauer at (404) 564-5848 for more information.
Southeast Regional Conference in Jekyll Island, Ga. Call (800) 637-9532 for more information.
Jan. 21-25 Feb. 17
In New Mexico, a mother frets over paint that’s chipping from her windowsills--because she keeps ﬁnding the lead-based chips in her toddler’s little hands.With labored breath, a little boy in West Virginia battles asthma that has resulted in part from the poor conditions in which he is living: the mold and mildew, the cockroaches and dust mites, the rodent allergens.Beyond a crowded market in Manila, children compete with dogs for refuse while families make their homes and livelihoods in the shadows of garbage heaps. Around the world, houses lean like makeshift scaffolding across rural plains and in dense, noisy, polluted urban quarters.
Family Forum Series panel discussion at Emory University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Religion. Call April Bogle at (404) 712-8713 for more information.
Building on the Dream. Locations around the United States. Call Victoria Peagler at (800) 422-4828, Ext. 2639, for more information.
Before becoming Habitat homeowners last year, the Skoneczny family lived the grim housing reality of many families in post-communist countries. The family of four lived in one tiny room within a 645-square-foot block ﬂat that housed six other people as well. Overcrowding is a common problem in Eastern European nations, as single-room ﬂats often house multiple families. Under such circumstances, having the space to study was out of the question for Dominika, 10. Today, she not only has her own desk and space to study at home, but her bright, new primary school is just down the street from a tidy neighborhood of Habitat houses.
Habitat for Humanity Publication Newsletter Dec/Jan. 2005
Make a World of Difference: Find out how you can get involved with Habitat for Humanity. No matter your age, gender, creed, race or nationality, there is a place for you within Habitat. Please take a moment to review the opportunities below, let us know what interests you, and we will mail you relevant information. Or, call (800) HABITAT (422-4828) or visit www. habitat.org Women Build Women crews build houses to help move families and children out of poverty. · www.habitat.org/wb/ · email@example.com · (800) HABITAT, ext. 270
House building means team building Corporate Partners: Challenge your colleagues to a Habitat house build. · www.habitat.org/cp/ · firstname.lastname@example.org · (800) HABITAT, ext. 2126
A World in Need of Housing, Hope and Help By Melissa LaWanna
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Call 41-22-869-1288 for more information.
Tomorrow’s Humanity Leader Recipient
Below: The children of Tuatlao look on as clean is begun. Photo by Terry Nichols
Left: Meca and Luisa look at the damagaed caused by Hurricane Ivan. Photo by Terry Nichols
JC work Project Report 2004
“People are smart,” Kennedy says. “They understand that if they pay, someone else will get a house. The issue is why should they do it. The fact that people pay when they have so little means that they care for their neighbor. This process of mutual help and respect can be truly transformational for communities.” “Fund raising, even in very poor countries, can be accomplished with a little creativity. On the local level, afﬁliates generate cash through bake sales
Habitat for Humanity Celebration Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-proﬁt, zero-interest mortgages. www.habitat.org Coms out and help celebrate January 10,2005
Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to eliminate these conditions--from the busiest city to the most remote village. Its partnership housing approach is proven, its commitment resolute. However, it cannot do it alone and relies on contributions from millions of people throughout the world. Each Habitat partner can and does make a difference. And whether those contributions arrive in the form of volunteer labor or ﬁnancial donations, each helps build a house with a family who needs it.Millions of families all over the world count on Habitat’s work--and on its partners’ involvement. They struggle daily to overcome the hardships of substandard housing. They seek warmth in the cold, relief from the stiﬂing heat and a better life in every climate. Meanwhile, their health declines, their anguish deepens and their hope fades to a glimmer--yet not all is completely lost. Through partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, families, once stooped under the heavy burden of poverty housing, have unleashed new potential after moving into a decent, affordable home. The roof is solid, the ﬂoors sound. Inside, bugs and bad weather no longer slip through cracks in the walls, and new stability resides there instead. For almost three decades, Habitat has been helping families overcome such desperate conditions. As the need for housing remains dire, Habitat will only redouble its efforts to narrow the gap between those who have a decent place to live and those who don’t. “With so many families living in substandard housing, we have to act swiftly and thoroughly,” says Millard Fuller, Habitat’s founder and president. “We’ve come a long way, but the road ahead is long
still. Yet as more people become involved and share in our concern for those enduring such horrible situations, as they volunteer and donate money and help advocate for low-income families, we can reach the end of the road and help chart a new direction. For those fraught with poverty and the worry that comes with it.”Habitat for Humanity is committed to eliminating burdens many families shoulder by building solid, affordable houses in partnership with those families. To date, the organization has provided shelter to more than 175,000 families, housing nearly 900,000 people. This work requires volunteers, to be sure. It takes materials: boxes of nails and bags of cement; it takes lumber, paint, rebar, shingles, windows, doors and so much else. And it takes money.“One should never undervalue the contributions of volunteer labor, of hammering a nail or serving . on an afﬁliate committee; making sandwiches for on-site lunches or monitoring the ﬁrst-aid tent when temperatures soar above 90,” says Fuller. “None of that would be possible, however, without ﬁnancial contributions to pave the way for more and more .building. In his essay Considerations by the Way, Ralph Waldo Emerson said to ‘make yourself necessary to somebody.’ Well, each time someone gives of his or her time or writes a check or offers support. .in any other way, they are making themselves necessary to a family conﬁned by poverty housing.” These families’ needs are daunting. The United Nations estimates that 1.3 billion people in urban areas lack adequate shelter. In rural areas, the problem is even worse as 2.6 billion people endure inadequate housing, including shelter that forces families to pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing.While families in rural areas may not experience. Habitat for Humanity Publication Newsletter Dec/Jan. 2005
Editorial Team Milana McLead Editor-in-Chief Melissa Frazier Senior Editor Terry Nichols Photographer James Seymour Contributing Photographer Stehanie Ortiz Writer Contributing Writers Samuel Jones Lacie Withers Micheal McDaniels Ramaula Dickson
Editor’s Note You can help by supporting Habitat’s work inside your community... and out. In the December/January 2005 edition of Samaritan Review, we indicated that volunteers can contribute substantially by serving on one of several afﬁliate committees. Those contributions are both needed and much appreciated. People power behind the scenes and at construction sites is important, but equally important as volunteer support is ﬁnancial support to intensify Habitat’s work. Habitat for Humanity relies on cash donations to purchase such necessary components as land and building materials and to cover administrative costs necessary to continue the actual construction work. Habitat relies on a wide variety of funding sources, from the individual donor to the largest corporation--and places a premium on each and every gift. This issue of Habitat World explores some of those sources, providing insight not only into where the money comes from, but into where it goes as well. Before tools clang on a construction site, there’s much else that needs to happen ﬁrst, not the least of which is dollars raised and allocated for ultimately the same outcome: more housing built with more families around the world.
Habitat Goes to Antarctica By Micheal Walsh
Habitat Today editor Milana McLead led a team of women to New Zealand in September for two weeks of building.A Place for Every-
Community News Jimmy Carter Work Project 2004 Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn will extend helping hands--and experienced hammers--to build houses with families in need Oct. 24-29, 2004, in Puebla and Vera Cruz, Mexico. Thousands of volunteers from around the world will gather for the Jimmy Carter Work Project to build 150 houses with local families. Mexico’s need for affordable, decent housing is tremendous: About 40 percent of Mexico’s population lives in poverty, and one in three adults lives in poverty housing. Since 1987, when Habitat began working in Mexico, 19 Habitat afﬁliates have built more than 13,000 houses at a cost of about US$6,500 each. As families build, buy and move into their block houses--for which they pay between US$70 and US$80 per month--they leave behind some of the burdens and hardships of substandard living conditions. To lend your support, please use the envelope inside or donate securely online at www.habitat.org/donation. You may designate your gift to this year’s JCWP. To sign up for e-mail news and announcements, or for information on the build locations, visit www.habitat. org/jcwp/2004.
When Disaster Strikes, Habitat Strikes Back Living in a ﬂood-prone area in El Salvador, Elsa Hernandez Robles’ family had gotten used to raising their hammocks above the occasional one-footdeep ﬂoodwaters of the nearby river. But when Hurricane Mitch struck the region in October 1998 and proved to be the deadliest storm in the Western Hemisphere since 1780, they knew at once that this was different. Pregnant and terriﬁed, Elsa grabbed her parents and her children and all began an uphill race for their lives just as the ﬂoodwaters of Mitch washed their house away. They survived the ordeal, but in several Central American countries that month more than 9,000 people died, nearly a half-million people became homeless and millions more were displaced The devastation created housing needs that Habitat for Humanity could not ignore. “We cannot and must not be oblivious to the suffering of those people [whose lives have been negatively impacted by a disaster], and there are various ways we can respond,” says Millard Fuller, HFHI founder and president. “Though Habitat is not a relief organization, we come behind the relief people and do the permanent rebuilding.”
Habitat for Humanity Publication Newsletter Dec/Jan. 2005
A Marriage of Money and Mission
We never know where Habitat World might turn up next, but we have certainly enjoyed ﬁnding out in the photographs readers share with us. Pictured here is volunteer and Habitat World reader Carmen Lemon, who is spending her sixth winter in Antarctica. Lemon supports scientists conducting research as part of the U.S. Antarctic Program. In the background is the Royal Society Range of the Transantarctica Mountains. Lemon has participated in Habitat for Humanity Global Village trips to Honduras and Fiji and plans to join another one to Africa later this year. She says that when she read of Habitat’s work in a travel book, it struck her as the perfect opportunity to contribute to a family’s sense of stability. “It’s bee“It has helped me realize that material possessions don’t really mean that much, but it’s the more lasting, [intangible] things that have the most.
By Micheal McDaniel Each year, corporations and foundations throughout the world contribute millions of dollars in cash and products to Habitat for Humanity International and its afﬁliates. These donors play a key role in Habitat’s ability to build more houses, but for both they and Habitat itself the rewards go far beyond a dollar ﬁgure. “Our partnership with Habitat gives us the opportunity to connect with volunteers and homeowners and to establish some great relationships,” says Chris Ahearn, public relations director for Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. “The home is the centerpiece of the American family, and by helping families move into better housing, we’re contributing to something that’s so much bigger than any of us individually.” Recently, Lowe’s committed $2 million to underwrite Habitat’s Women Build program. 2004 and to support Habitat’s work in other areas as well. The Andersen Corp. is another donor that has stepped up to contribute on several levels. To mark its 100th anniversary, Andersen and its related foundations committed to a ﬁve-year partnership to build 100 houses across the United
States. “The partnership with Habitat is a great marriage,” Andersen president and CEO Jim Humphrey says. “Habitat, of course, is about families ... about building with future. homeowners, and as a family company we can easily relate to the importance of strong family ties.” Various
So what is the difference between “us” and “them”? Not much. Certainly, good fortune and God’s grace play a role. But at the end of the day, we’re all part of the same global family, facing similar life challenges. “Poor people care about many of the same things all of us care about: happiness, family, children, livelihood, peace, security, safety, dignity and respect,” states the foreword to Voices of the Poor (see page 18 for related story). Every time I interview Habitat homeowners, I ﬁnd their cares, concerns and aspirations to be the same no matter their address, be it in Burlingt on, Vt., USA; Dunavarsány, Hungary; or Maragondon, the Philippines. Like almost anyone else, they hope for a better life, take joy
By Samantah Briuns After two decades of involvement with Habitat for Humanity, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will extend his commitment to low-cost housing by leading the annual Jimmy Carter Work Project Oct. 24-29 in Mexico. The event will take place in Puebla and Veracruz, Mexico, as some 4,000 volunteers from around the world build 150 houses in partnership with local families in need. Since 1987, when Habitat began working in Mexico, 19 Habitat afﬁliates have built more than 13,000 houses at a cost of about US$6,500 each. Still, the need is tremendous.
foundations also ﬁnancially support Habitat’s work. The Lilly Endowment, for example, has provided $500,000 to help Habitat afﬁliates further their work through enhanced fund raising. Over a three-year period, afﬁliate staff across the United States will be trained in such areas .
On a Mission with Ramaula If you think your life won’t be touched someday by “the poor”... think again. In fact, four in 10 Americans know someone living in poverty, and nearly half of all American adults are concerned that they will be poor at some point in their lives. Clearly, poverty is no respecter of persons. There may not be even “six degrees of separation” between any one of us and grinding poverty. Personally, I’ve skated closer to poverty than I’d like when sudden unemployment came my way. Were it not for a good education and family support, I may have tumbled into the grip of poverty’s cycle and not broken out.
JCWP 2004: Call for Volunteers
in their children, value education, work hard for a living and have faith in tomorrow. That faiththough perhaps different from yours or minesustains them through the tough times and gives them grace in the good times. “I am amazed at how people can still hold on to hope and not give up, at the deep caring and longing of parents for their children. and at the resilience in the human spirit despite the odds,” says Voices of the Poor author Deepa Narayan. The work of Habitat for Humanity builds on that spirit and faith, both literally and ﬁguratively. During the third week of September, afﬁliates worldwide will celebrate “Building on Faith” week-a tangible expression of the aptly named event. And every day, Habitat brings hope to the many in our global family who are in need of decent, affordable housing.
Mexico has a population of 100 million. About 40 percent of the people live in poverty, and children often ﬁnd themselves working on the street to supplement what meager incomes their parents earn. Fortunately, families throughout the country are ﬁnding hope and opportunity through their partnerships with Habitat for Humanity. As they build, buy and move into their block houses--for which they pay between US$70 and US$80 per month--they leave behind some of the burdens and hardships of deplorable living conditions. Volunteers are needed for this year’s event, so there’s a space for you--and an opportunity to make a difference. To reserve your spot or for more information about this year’s project. .
World Leaders Hammer Out Hope and Opportunity By Samantah Briuns In the coming months, two international leaders will extend helping hands--and experienced hammers--to build houses with families in need. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn will build in Puebla and Veracruz, Mexico, Oct. 24-29, 2004.With them, thousands of volunteers will build 150 houses with local families during the 21st Jimmy Carter Work Project. In South Africa, founding president of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kaunda will help build 25 houses in Mamelodi, Pretoria, Nov. 22-26, 2004.The Kenneth Kaunda Work Project also will mark the beginning of a “Homes and Hope” campaign to build 1,000 additional houses in South Africa in anticipation of Habitat for Humanity International’s 30th anniversary in 2006. Visit www.habitat.org/jcwp/2004 for more information about the JCWP.
Around the World Meeting Cultural Needs
Partnerships Mean Progress for Habitat’s Work in Egypt By Micheal McDaniel With a quiet urgency, Hany Kamal, ﬁeld coordinator with Habitat for Humanity Egypt, tells of an Egyptian family who welcomed him during his visit to their community of need. The family of seven lived crowded into a single 5’ x 6’ room. It had a dirt ﬂoor, lacked a roof, and reﬂected the desperate health conditions that result from having to house farm animals in the same room as blankets, cookware ... and people.“These conditions are inhuman,” Kamal says. “People should not have to live like this.” Egypt is one of the most inﬂuential countries in the Middle East. With a civilization dating back thousands of years, it is home to wonders of the ancient world: the Pyramids and Sphinx. But of even greater value than its golden history are its nearly 70 million people, renowned for their warmth of hospitality and their endurance through hardship. It is the dignity of these people that is the foundation on which Habitat for Humanity builds in Egypt. The challenges many Egyptian families face are substantial. Yousry Makar, national director for HFH Egypt, visited an 8’ x 9’ home where 10 people lived, ﬁve upstairs and ﬁve down. Overcrowded? Sure. But even more critical for the ﬁve people living below was the rising watertable that turned their dirt ﬂoor into standing muddy water. Whether the venue is rural or urban Egypt, poverty is the antagonist of these heroic families. In villages, they live in crumbling block huts, scarcely more solid than the sand on which they’re built. In cities like Cairo, “home” is crowded, noisy squatter settlements with jackhammers and exhaust fumes and the smell of hot asphalt. Worse, it’s where people live in “garbage recycling communities,” where one’s trash becomes another’s meager treasure.With some 30 percent of the country living in desperate conditions, the need in this largest Arab country is staggering--not only the scope of it. severity as well. And that is what motivates Habitat for Humanity’s work there. For 15 years, Habitat has worked with families up and down the Nile River, building today in 14
communities. Habitat has built 4,000 houses so far and attributes its success to the compassion within the people of Egypt and, in part, to an effective partnership with a community development organization called CEOSS (Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Service). In a land where relationships are as vital as the desert is wide, the HFH/CEOSS partnership has been fruitful, allowing Habitat to build on the trust already established by the 50-year-old CEOSS, which improves the quality of life in poor communities by mobilizing local leadership, improving health, strengthening schools and micro-enterprise--and, with Habitat, building houses. Until Nov. 15, 2003, when Habitat for Humanity became ofﬁcially registered with Egypt’s Ministry of Social Affairs, Habitat operated in partnership under CEOSS’ legal umbrella, says David Haskell, Habitat for Humanity’s director for the Middle East and East Africa region. But that wasn’t the relationship’s only advantage. “Not only have we built on CEOSS’ 50-plus year history of development, relationships and goodwill,” he says, “but we’ve been able to collaborate with its strong network of experienced local volunteer committees who have already succeeded in community development initiatives..
Individual Donors Find Strength in Numbers By Lacie Withers Individual partners are the backbone of Habitat for Humanity International’s support base, contributing time, talents and dollars to make Habitat’s work possible. Apart from volunteer labor, each year those individuals provide millions of dollars to build thousands of houses worldwide. Yet when the focus shifts from the donation to the donors, it becomes apparent that this broad, worldwide impact grows from the humble seeds of personal convictions, improving lives and building hope. Evelyn Locklin supports her local afﬁliate, Columbus (Ohio) Area Habitat for Humanity, and serves on the church relations committee. She and her husband have a method for selecting organizations to support, she says. “We have a couple of criteria: Does it help children? Does it last? Does it give us a certain satisfaction of being involved in it?” she says. And ﬁnally, “A fourth criterion is a link.” This link, or personal connection with the cause, often is what draws donors to support Habitat’s work. Whether they know a friend or family member who is building a Habitat house or have experienced
tough times themselves, having a face to put on the mission is a powerful motivation. Locklin initially became involved through a friend who was participating in a fund-raiser and asked for her help, and later relationships with homeowner families sustained the feeling of “connection.” Even when we have problems and it’s frustrating, in spite of that, what you cling to is the fact that this is a proven program.it works.... Even those of us who are not speakers have an easy ‘sell.’Volunteers with talents ranging from carpentry skills to food preparation played a role in the successful completion of 25 houses at the 2003 Jimmy Carter Work Project site in Valdosta, Ga.
Habitat for Humanity Publication Newsletter Dec/Jan. 2005