Thursday, April 30, 2009

Habitat Homeowner Story

Murshida Khatun is a tailor trainer from Dholadia Village, Mymensingh. Training 5-6 students per day, Murshida is generating much needed income for her small family. Beaming with joy, she exclaims “Receiving a Habitat house has been the most significant change in my life.” Why? Because now, Murshida and her family live in a 2-bedroom brick home where she has the space to train other young women in tailoring, so, they too can contribute to their families’ income.

Prior to receiving a Habitat house, Murshida, her husband Abdur Rob, and her eight-year-old son, lived in an unsafe, dilapidated house. The mud floor was in very poor condition, and the CI sheet walls and floors did not provide adequate protection for the family. After hearing about Habitat from neighbours, Murshida decided to join a Save and Build group and began saving for a new house.

The new house has not only contributed to increasing the family’s income, the overall health of the family has improved. Murshida’s son in particular has been free of colds and fevers since moving into their new Habitat home. In addition, Murshida’s son has been granted a scholarship for his education due to the increase in his grades and attendance.

Habitat Bangladesh has helped change the life of this Bangladeshi family. Health, education and increases in income, are just a few of the lifelong changes that have been made since receiving not just a house, but a home from Habitat.

You too can help change the life of a Bangladeshi family, by assisting Habitat in building adequate homes in low income communities, to bring hope and new beginnings for families in Bangladesh.

Please contact our Resource Development Manager for more information about making a donation to Habitat Bangladesh.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

After the Cyclone: New Hope in Bangladesh

Habitat for Humanity Asia Pacific has published a Special Report on the Cyclone Sidr Rehabilitation Project.

Cyclone Sidr brought misery to struggling families in Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries of the world, when it stuck in November 2007.

To find out how Habitat for Humanity transformed lives through its transitional shelter strategy, please click
here to read 'After the Cyclone: New Hope in Bangladesh'

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More Photos from Women Build!

Laura Davis and Freyr Patterson breaking bricks to make brick chips for construction

Habitat homeowner, Rashida Begum working alongside volunteers in Savar

National Director, Kelly Koch 'watering' the outside wall of the house

45 participants volunteered for the Women Build held on Friday 3 April

US Embassy builds at Kaliganj

On the 9th of April, a team of 7 from the US Embassy in Dhaka departed for worksites in Kaliganj, approximately 40 km northeast of Dhaka city. The group was cordially welcomed by the homeowner and the local community, and began work at the sites under the close supervision of construction Coordinator, Md. Enamul Haque.

At the conclusion of the build the homeowner, Mr. Bijoy Rozario said, “I’m very happy to get a loan from Habitat; I am building a one room house now, but in the future I’ll need a bigger house. I’m really happy that the volunteers are building my house and they are all from the US embassy; it’s nice to work with them and I am honoured to have them here.”

The team that came from US Embassy worked on the house of Mr. Bijoy Rozario in Boali village, Kaliganj, Gazipur district. After lunch, the team managed to work for another hour, however, due to heavy rain, the team had to finish work early.

The US Embassy has long been a supporter of Habitat Bangladesh, providing both volunteers and raising funds for people in need of decent, safe and secure housing. If you or your organisation would like to volunteer or donate to Habitat Bangladesh, please contact our "Resource Development Manager

Habitat Bangladesh hosts its first Women Build!

Habitat for Humanity International – Bangladesh (HFHI-B) held its first ever Women Build on Friday 3 April. A total of 45 foreign and Bengali women turned out for the event in Savar, located one hour northwest of the capital, Dhaka.

The theme of the day was ‘Celebrating Women’s Engagement in Development’, and that we did! The day commenced with National Director, Kelly Koch welcoming the volunteers and providing some insights into the role of women and challenges they face in Bangladesh. Speaking of Habitat’s work, Ms. Koch discussed how the organization “seeks to empower women through home ownership, family decision making, and education and training.”

The female volunteers worked on four different houses that were at various stages of construction. Building activities included digging, pounding and levelling the floor, carrying sand and water, sifting sand, and making brick chips.

After a very productive morning, the four teams came together for a lunch break in a shady area of South Rajashon village. The volunteers were excited to spend a day out of the hustle and bustle of Dhaka and work at Habitat build sites, while meeting homeowners and the community. “Volunteering with Habitat means so much more than just giving money to an organisation”, said Stephanie Ryan, an Australian woman currently residing in Dhaka.

After lunch, it was time for some more building, and despite the heat, the women worked hard to complete their building activities for the day. One male member of the community was in disbelief that the women had actually volunteered to spend the day in his village building. Local women in the community were motivated and inspired by the female volunteers. “Seeing so many foreign women in my village, helping my family and I to build our house, inspires me to also help others,” said Habitat homeowner, Amina Begum.

Habitat Bangladesh would like to thank all 45 women who volunteered and helped make the day successful. Much needed funds were raised for HFHI-B, but more importantly, we celebrated women’s engagement in development, and have given hope to the many women who continue to be disadvantaged as gender inequality is widespread in Bangladesh. We hope to host another Women Build event later in the year.

- Monica Gray