One of the most sizable problems surrounding poverty in vulnerable countries is the lack of clean, sustainable and sturdy homes. When communities are provided with little to no housing, it can cause an abundance of other problems such as unsanitary facilities, streets and a lack of clean water. However, there are different organizations actively combating this problem by volunteering their time and effort to building homes abroad.
All Out Africa
All Out Africa is a volunteer organization that exclusively concentrates on African countries, such as Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe. In Swaziland, All Out Africa’s main focus is structural building through the Build a Future Project.
This program employs the use of local goods and methods such as mud bricks to aid in building different infrastructure, homes and water systems for orphaned and vulnerable children. All Out Africa changes lives through their volunteer programs and allows those looking for opportunities to gain hands-on experience in building homes abroad.
Build Abroad was founded by two architects, Pat McLoughlin and Chad Johnson. Build Abroad’s first trip was to Costa Rica, where they refurbished a women’s shelter and made easily accessible handicap ramps. As Build Abroad has branched out, it now takes volunteers to travel to Costa Rica, Haiti, Guatemala, Nepal and Peru.
In Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, their main focus is on community renovation. In Haiti, Build Abroad concentrates on building affordable homes for low-income families in the Pignon community. Build Abroad’s Haiti program allows volunteers to build full, sustainable homes in just one week.
The volunteers and builders learn how to build a foundation, install windows and construct a roof, along with paint and trim. Most of these homes are built for farmers who already own land, but need extra help in building lasting homes.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is one of the most well-known organizations that builds homes for those who are struggling or in difficult situations, such as homelessness and poverty. But what many don’t know is that Habitat for Humanity works in many underdeveloped countries as well.
The organization’s humanitarian work ranges from countries such as Brazil and Columbia, all the way to the Philippines, India, China, Australia and New Zealand; Habitat for Humanity is truly a global organization.
The Habitat for Humanity Thrivent Builds Worldwide program concentrates on helping women and children in building clean, structurally sound homes, anywhere from Africa to Hawaii. Most of their work building homes abroad, however, is done through their Global Village program.
In this program, volunteers can choose to build as many homes as they like, as well as advocate for policy change, energy efficient projects and populations such as children, women and the disabled. Habitat for Humanity not only concentrates on building homes abroad, but it also contributes disaster relief, shelters and community rehabilitation through the Disaster Response project.
Projects Abroad is a volunteer program that provides scholarships, university credit and internships in major fields such as journalism, medicine and healthcare and International Development to those who wish to volunteer in building homes abroad. This group focuses on building homes in countries such as Ghana, Jamaica, the Philippines, Senegal and Tanzania.
Projects Abroad teaches its volunteers how to build bricks from mud and water for assembling quality homes and classrooms; how to fix and rebuild toilet facilities and homes for school children or those who have faced disaster; and how to create sanitation facilities for households, infrastructure and construction.
Brick By Brick
By building clean, safe and sustainable homes, these organizations aid in creating a better way of life for victims of poverty, helping areas recover from natural disasters and supporting those who feel defenseless and stuck in their situations.
Volunteer travel programs and disaster relief give hope, and volunteers building homes abroad are providing a wonderful global service.
– Rebecca Lee