This Thanksgiving, I'll be traveling to Brazil to help families realize their dreams of a safe and secure home of their own! Your support helps make this project a success!
This November, I'll be leading not one but 2 teams of volunteers to Brazil. We'll work closely with families to help them build a safe and secure home of their own. What better way to spend Thanksgiving?!
Our project, called “The Future Begins at Home”, has a goal of guaranteeing that socially vulnerable children and youth have an adequate home in which to live. A safe living situation lowers the incidence of disease, leads to improved performance in school and favors children's full development as citizens so as to conquer a future with more opportunities.
The project is taking place in low-income urban communities in the Northeast region of Brazil. In the state of Bahia, the community we will serve is called Vila Esperança (Village of Hope). This community could not have a more appropriate name. There are around 200 families living in Vila Esperança and most houses are in precarious condition, with dirt floors, deteriorated walls and few or no windows. Many families don't have bathrooms in their homes. Roads in the community are not paved and there is a train track that goes straight through the community with no protection or gates to prevent children running into the tracks.
Families in Vila Esperança earn an average of R$720 reais per month (approx. US$180) and are primarily led by single women. But even with all of the struggles that these people go through, they still have so much strength, perseverance, joy and expectations for the future.
The housing figures in Brazil are staggering: About 26 million people living in urban areas do not have access to water; 14 million are not served by a trash collection service; and 83 million are not connected to sewage systems. The national housing deficit has been estimated at 7.2 million units. Even more alarming, the number of existing vacant properties has been estimated at 5.5 million.
Habitat for Humanity Brazil is working in more than 12 cities in three Brazilian states. For the past 20 years, Habitat has supported several initiatives, in addition to traditional home construction. In the city of Guaruja, Habitat is building a housing settlement for families living precariously on the banks of the Acarau River, without sewage, garbage collection or basic services. In Varjada, Habitat is training families in financial literacy, self-help construction and home improvement.
Global Village is Habitat for Humanity’s international volunteer program. Teams travel to over 40 countries to work alongside communities, build housing solutions, and experience local culture. Our goal is to change the lives of the people we serve, as well as the lives of the volunteers.
To join a team or learn more, visit www.habitat.org/gv.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 1,300 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
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