Habitat for Humanity (Zambia)

In 2009 (and again in 2010 and 2011), we made grants to Habitat for Humanity in the Denver, Colorado area, but we also provided funding for the construction of two houses in Zambia in each of those years.

These six houses are part of a special Habitat project called the Vulnerable Group Housing Project. The families involved typically include orphans or otherwise vulnerable children. Our particular families consist of grandmothers and their grandchildren living together after the deaths of the children’s parents. Often, but not always, this occurs because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In an area in which income is low anyway, families like these can easily find themselves homeless, or at least in unhealthy and unsafe housing. We like the Habitat for Humanity model for helping with this sort of situation, with its use of low-cost, safe housing designed to make effective use of locally-produced construction materials, largely volunteer labor, and a “sweat equity” contribution by the family.

Posted 9 years, 7 months ago at 5:33 am.

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Milagro Water Project, El Salvador (2009)

The first special project we funded was the Project Milagro Water Supply, a project by Engineers Without Borders to provide a clean, reliable water supply to three communities in El Salvador. We provided essentially all the funding for the 2009 portion of this EWB effort, which involved construction of the El Rosario community water storage tank.

Here’s an introduction to the project. And here’s more detail about the project. The work was carried out by a team from the Orange County (CA) Professionals Chapter of EWB, as well as a group of local workers. Here’s a description of training done by the EWB chapter. And here are some photos taken in the community during EWB’s local preparations for the work.

Severe storms impeded the preparatory effort by local workers and EWB’s partner in the larger project, ENLACE. Mudslides killed six in the area, many local bridges were destroyed, and one of the workers on this project was seriously injured and required a helicopter medivac. Folks persevered, though, and things were ready for the EWB crew to come in for the tank construction. Here’s a near-final report from EWB on the effort.

Posted 10 years, 3 months ago at 5:29 pm.

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Basic Needs

Before economic self-sufficiency is possible, basic human needs have to be accessible. These include such things as access to clean water, sanitation, energy, food, and housing. Some of our favorite charities do work in these areas. We’ll discuss them in more detail in a bit.

Posted 11 years, 4 months ago at 7:06 pm.

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