This team partnered with Habitat for Humanity Brazil and help bring strength, stability and independence to a family in need of a decent place to live.
Our team worked beside local masons and neighbors to provide safe, affordable housing for families in Brazil on a project called “The Future Begins at Home“, which has a goal of guaranteeing that children and youths in socially vulnerable situations have a more adequate home to live in so as to lower the occurrence of disease, improve their performance in school and favor their full development as citizens who can enjoy a future with more opportunities. We worked in the state of Bahia in a community 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 every single house is in precarious conditions. Many families don’t have bathrooms in their homes. Most houses have dirt floors, deteriorated walls and few windows. The community is not paved and there is a train track that goes straight through the community with no gates to prevent children from running onto the tracks. Families in Vila Esperança earn an average of R$720 reais per month (approx. US$180) and are primarily headed 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.
As we built with the family, we were welcomed into the community, ate traditional food and met the neighbors whose community we helped to improve. Our work has a lasting impact as Habitat will continue to support the families through workshops and trainings after our team returned home.
More About The Housing Need in Brazil
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.
More About Habitat for Humanity
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 has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. People 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.