Hundreds of thousands of families in developing countries struggle to keep a roof over their heads or lack one altogether. Shelter is a critical part of a stable community and life. It has been directly linked with better, healthier and financially stable lives.
Several organizations are enlisting volunteers to build homes for communities and families in need. Spanning from a few days to several weeks, the trips are flexible and affordable creating multiple opportunities to give back. Rather than simply donating to organizations, volunteering physically allows a person to be a direct part of the change. Below is a list of the top five organizations enlisting volunteers to build homes.
Build Abroad is a nonprofit with a focus on construction volunteering. The organization builds and repairs homes, schools and communities with the help of volunteers. Two friends founded the organization in 2010, as they wanted to combine their love for travel and architecture to serve developing countries. Build Abroad strives to build better infrastructure in order to impact communities for years to come. It has programs in six countries with plans to expand by two countries every year, according to its website. The organization’s volunteer trips range from one week to six months.
1 Mission organizes short-term trips in order to create long-term impacts. The organization is, “A community development organization giving people in poverty the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community,” according to its website. 1 Mission has successfully built 847 home for people and families in need. They organize short, three-day trips, which allows volunteering to be convenient for anyone.
The organization currently works in Nicaragua, Mexico and El Salvador, having affordable trips starting at $280 per person. J.D. Cavness, a 22-year-old, volunteered with 1 Mission in October 2018, where he helped build a three bedroom house in just three short days for a family in need along with other volunteers. During an Interview with The Borgen Project, J.D. reflected saying, “It was super rewarding and cool to give a family a home that they can live in and raise their own family in.” After experiencing the trip himself, he explained how he would recommend it to anyone, especially since volunteering does not require building experience.
Habitat For Humanity
Habitat For Humanity is an international nonprofit housing organization working throughout the communities of 70 different countries. Habitat’s vision is, “of a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” according to its website.
The organization’s team and volunteers work in home construction, neighborhood revitalization, disaster response and financial education. Habitat For Humanity believes affordable housing leads to stable communities. It offers homebuilding trips in nearly 30 countries around the world with its Global Village Program, as well as local trips to build in the U.S. Since the nonprofit’s founding, it has helped more than 22 million people build or improve their homes.
International Volunteer HQ
International Volunteer HQ emerged in 2007 and has grown to become one of the leading volunteer organizations with over 40 global destinations. The nonprofit strives to create affordable, safe and quality volunteer trips fostering long-term community goals in countries around the world. The organization offers several different project options to choose from.
Specifically, its construction and renovation volunteer abroad projects include building, renovating and improving infrastructure in local communities. International Volunteer HQ has construction volunteer trip durations ranging from one to 24 weeks long. International Volunteer HQ believes, “In a future where any traveler, anywhere in the world is empowered to make a meaningful difference in the community they are visiting,” according to its website.
Global Vision International
Global Vision International (GVI) has been offering volunteer abroad opportunities since 1998. GVI runs various programs throughout 13 different countries. The nonprofit centers its projects around making a sustainable, positive and long-lasting impact. GVI uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for its objectives.
GVI offers construction volunteer trips to lay foundations in developing countries for years to come. The construction project locations range from Fiji, South Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica and more. The goal of the construction projects is to, “Work to build or improve key infrastructure, and thereby, improve the communities’ access to healthcare, education and children’s development,” according to the organization’s website.
These organizations give people a means to act whether they have a history of construction or limited time. The top five organizations enlisting volunteers to build homes allow anyone to be a part of improving lives.
– Savannah Huls