1. What is Habitat for Humanity International?
Habitat for Humanity International is a global, non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to ending substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. Founded in 1976 by late Millard Fuller, HFHI works with people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses in partnership with families in need. Its operational headquarters are located in Americus, Georgia, USA.
2. What is Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh?
Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh is a branch of HFH International that was established in 1999 in Mymensingh, and has since increased its services to six locations around the country. It works in mainly rural programs involving new home constructions, renovations, repairs, disaster response and mitigation, training on water, sanitation and hygiene practices and appropriate construction technology, as well as innovative research on alternative low-cost housing solutions. The organization’s aim is to break the cycle of poverty that comes with poorly-constructed homes in Bangladesh. HFH Bangladesh conducts its activities through its National Office, Habitat Resource Centers (HRCs),volunteers and in partnership with other NGOs and CBOs.
3. What is the role of the National Office?
Habitat’s work in a country is coordinated and supported by a national Habitat office, staffed by experts in construction technology, financial management, marketing, volunteer management and fundraising. In Bangladesh, Habitat operates under its National Office in collaboration with six HRC offices.
4. What is the role of a Habitat Resource Center?
A Habitat Resource Center (HRC) broadens the reach of Habitat’s home-building programs. An HRC may be a physical structure or a network of specialists offering support and resources. Centers provides expertise in one or more of such areas as project and construction management; research on appropriate technology including the production of cost effective, high-quality building materials, and providing construction skills training to local people. They also respond to disasters. HRCs provide services to partner organizations as well as Habitat home partners and communities. HRCs focus on identifying local housing needs, mobilizing resources to deliver housing solutions, raising awareness, providing training to communities and hosting volunteer builds.
5. How many people does Habitat for Humanity help each year?
Every 21 minutes, a family has a better home thanks to Habitat for Humanity, its volunteers and partners. Since 1976, HFH International has helped over 1 million families around the world, providing with safe, decent and affordable shelter. Habitat for Humanity served more than 3 million families worldwide involving more than 2 million volunteers in the financial year 2014. Habitat also helped tens of thousands more people establish legal rights to a house or land, or with technical assistance ranging from legal help to construction advice or training.
6. What does Habitat for Humanity do in the Asia-Pacific region?
Habitat for Humanity began working in the Asia-Pacific region in 1983 with a pilot program in India. Habitat currently has operations in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, Habitat is involved in fundraising, advocacy and organizing volunteers, along with some limited local repair and home improvement activities.
7. How does Habitat’s “No Profit” housing partnership work with homeowners?
Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of homeowner (or known as ‘partner’) families, volunteer labor and donations of money and materials. Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh houses are free. Home partners also invest their own labor known as “sweat equity” to construct their homes. In some areas Habitat works directly with the families to provide financial and technical support for housing. In other areas Habitat works through local NGOs or Community Organizations.
8. Do You Have To Be A Christian To Be A Habitat Homeowner?
Habitat works with people of all faiths and no faith. Homeowners are selected based on their level of need and their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat follows a non-discriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing families to become Habitat homeowners.
9. How are partner families selected?
Families in need of decent shelter apply through Habitat’s local HRC offices or partner organizations. Habitat selects homeowners based on their need for adequate housing.
10. How much does a Habitat house cost in Bangladesh?
In Bangladesh, the total cost of delivering a basic new core home is around USD$2,000. In addition to building new homes, Habitat also offers home improvement options to serve families in need of renovations to their existing structures.
11. Does Habitat for Humanity respond to disasters?
Across the Asia-Pacific region, Habitat for Humanity responds to natural and man-made disasters. Habitat focuses on working with local communities and governments to provide permanent or transitional housing solutions to those whose lives have been afflicted by catastrophe. Families are encouraged to contribute materials and “sweat equity” in rebuilding their homes and communities. In Bangladesh, HFHB built 480 transitional shelters in response to the devastating 2007 Cyclone Sidr and a further 120 shelters after the South Asian floods of 2007.