Inadequate housing is a global problem that requires a global solution, which is why we must tackle this issue internationally as well as in Canada. Globally, Habitat for Humanity Canada plays a key role in the developing world, mobilizing funds and volunteers to Habitat program countries in an effort to serve the 1.6 billion people in need of access to shelter.
Habitat for Humanity’s International Programs directs local dollars from across the country into regional grants for homebuilding and shelter solutions in developing countries. In 2015 alone, more than 9,500 people were directly impacted by this program.
Home for Home
It’s a simple concept that Habitat for Humanity Canada strives for in solidarity with families in need around the world: building one house in a developing country for every house built at home.
Anchored by the conviction that safe and affordable housing provides a path out of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 6.8 million people around the world through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services.
The funds contributed by Canadian Habitat offices and local donors have improved the quality of life of families in many countries in the developing world, including areas affected by natural disaster.
Our Current Initiatives:
Latin America and the CaribbeanEl Salvador
El Salvador struggles with high rates of poverty, inequality and crime – in particular, high rates of gang-related crimes and juvenile delinquency. The “Building Young Neighbours for Peace” project brings together young people in three local communities in San Vicente, San Salvador and La Libertad to participate as volunteers on six different home builds. In addition to benefitting six families with new, safe and adequate homes, this project is strengthening relationships with local community groups, enhancing national volunteering and engaging vulnerable youth in productive activities that keep them away from potential risks in their communities. Learn more about supporting youth in El Salvador.
When a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Habitat for Humanity immediately responded building on nearly 30 years of experience working in Haiti. Habitat for Humanity’s recovery program in Haiti has benefitted more than 50,000 families through emergency, transitional and permanent housing solutions. Given the scope of the need in Haiti, long-term change must involve empowering entire communities to rebuild their lives. In the community of Simon-Pele, the project “Investing in People and Business” is strengthening the long-term economic future and the social fabric of the community by providing a wide-range of training and skills development opportunities. Training programs include construction, business development, disaster risk reduction vocational skills and financial literacy. Learn more about investing in the economic future of Haiti
AfricaKenya and Uganda
In sub-Saharan Africa about 95 per cent of people do not have access to formal financing that would allow them to start building or improving a home. Because of this, most people build progressively, starting with a makeshift shelter and then gradually replacing it with more permanent materials. In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation and six local financial institutions, the “Building Assets, Unlocking Access” project supports these families to access small, short-term loans with affordable payments that can fund their incremental building process. By working with local financial service providers already serving the low-income population, this housing microfinance project allows Habitat to extend our reach and start making a greater impact on the 1.6 billion people worldwide who need decent shelter. Learn more about shelter solutions for low-income families in Kenya and Uganda.
In partnership with cbm Canada, Habitat for is working to transform the living conditions of people who have disabilities or who are at risk of developing disabilities, by improving their access to decent housing and sanitation facilities. The “Fitche Integrated Vulnerable Group Housing” project is increasing access to safe and decent shelter for vulnerable families. In addition, this project aims to create a healthy community by improving sanitation facilities at the community level and encouraging learning and knowledge transfer to become a model for future healthy, inclusive and holistic housing programming in Ethiopia. Learn more about supporting families with disabilities in Ethiopia.
The “Safe and Empowered Communities for Urban Reintegration” (SECURE) Project is unique in making centrally located urban land available for housing low-income people. Through this project, Habitat supports families and local authorities in securing land through the government’s Social Land Concession program. The work involves converting state-owned land in urban areas in Battambang into privately owned plots with secure tenure granted to families who are informal settlers. In addition, Habitat is also working with local partners to provide 40 new, adequate and safe homes for low-income families in Battambang. Learn more about empowering access to land in Cambodia.