Spring 2009 – News and Views for the Friends of Habitat for Humanity Canada
Jackson Topo, winner of the Genworth Meaning
of Home Contest, gives the ultimate prize:
A safe home for a Canadian family in need, p6
In this issue:
The Habitat Spirit, a publication
of Habitat for Humanity Canada,
seeks to promote communication,
discussion and networking among
Habitat for Humanity affiliates,
volunteers and supporters. Questions
or comments should be sent to:
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CANADA
124 Merton Street, Suite 401
Toronto, ON M4S 2Z2
1 800 667-5137, Fax: 416 646-0574
The photos contained
in this newsletter were provided
courtesy of Habitat for Humanity
Canada and its affiliates.
Special thanks to:
Genworth Financial – Cover
Neale Kemp – p3
Wickware Communications – p6
HFHI, Erin Hooper – p7
Jason Halstead - p8
Friesen Tokar Architects – p9
HFHI, Steffan Hacker – p10
& Erin O’Hara for volunteering her
time to write some of these articles.
A Message from our President & COO
As I write this letter, signs of spring are emerging everywhere, not the least of which
are on Habitat for Humanity construction sites across the country as the 2009 build
season gears up. Despite a long winter, and a seemingly unrelenting stream of negative
news in the media, like most Canadians, you are probably looking to spring for signs
of renewal and hope – wanting to be part of creating positive change, and in doing so,
hoping to be changed.
Habitat for Humanity is not immune to the challenges presented by this turbulent
environment; the fundraising landscape is constantly evolving and the need for affordable
housing in this country, and around the world, is persistent and critical. Yet Habitat
staff, volunteers and donors remain hopeful and energized – every day we are fortunate
enough to witness the renewal and the promising cycle of progress that is triggered
through the work of our organization.
What drew me to Habitat for Humanity is likely the same thing that drew you, and
draws tens of thousands of donors and volunteers to Habitat each year; it is the clarity
of what our program achieves and the knowledge that a simple investment in housing
is leveraged to help families and communities for years to come. With your support, when
we are able to help even one family achieve homeownership, we know for sure that
we have had an impact on their health and well-being that includes, but goes far beyond,
the safety and comfort provided by the physical shelter of a house.
You might be surprised to know how many ‘doors’ the key to a single home can open:
kids do better in school, parents’ employment prospects improve, and families report
that they are happier and better equipped to face life’s challenges. Good housing in
communities attracts economic investment and development, and contributes to thriving
school systems and community organizations. When we invest in decent, affordable
housing we are investing in a population that is healthier, financially independent,
and better equipped to learn, to work, and to care for others.
The transformation that we ignite together, whether through a single home, or through
thousands of homes, is profound and enduring; it gives each of us hope that our
contribution to this issue is truly making a difference.
To the donors and volunteers who have supported the success of Habitat for Humanity,
thank you for investing in hope and providing families with opportunities they might not
otherwise have had. To those of you new to Habitat, I invite you to get involved, discover
what doors you can help open in your own community and participate in what will surely
be a life-changing experience.
President & COO
Habitat for Humanity Canada
See “Introducing Our New President
& Chief Operating Officer” on page 4
2 To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca
National Volunteer of the
Year Award: Neale Kemp
Making a Real Difference with the
Swing of a Hammer
Combine visionary leadership with unbridled enthusiasm, mixed
with a dash of Aussie charm, and you have the recipe for the
recipient of last year’s Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC)
National Volunteer of the Year Award.
“ At some level there’s
the sheer enjoyment of
swinging a hammer and
knowing that with every
stroke, I’m making a
difference in someone’s
life.” – Neale Kemp, last
year’s HFHC National
Volunteer of the Year
Every year, hundreds of volunteers
dedicate themselves to the
Habitat mission, but Neale Kemp
has gone above and beyond. He
has been an integral part of the
Habitat for Humanity Grey-Bruce
affiliate for more than eight years
and has travelled around the globe
helping families in need of
The Beginnings of Dedication
Neale’s first undertaking was the transformation of the local ReStore
in 1999. In 2002, he joined the HFH Grey-Bruce Board of Directors
and was later unanimously elected Board Chair. He spearheaded
a new strategic plan that would double the amount of homes
the affiliate built by 2005.
Hitting the ground running, in 2003 he took to the road encouraging
municipalities in the region to support affordable housing by
donating land for Habitat builds. His efforts acquired donated lots
for the next six homes built in the area.
An Enduring Passion for the ReStore
Neale never lost sight of his first Habitat venture, the ReStore,
which he sees as an important part of increasing the affiliate’s
capacity. By 2003, he had convinced HFH Grey-Bruce to relocate
the ReStore to a new, much larger property – a move that drove
profits to new levels and will have almost doubled the size of the
store since Neale first walked through the doors.
A Globetrotter with a Cause
Neale’s efforts reach beyond the Grey-Bruce region and across the
world. He was one of the first to respond to the devastating
Tsunami that struck Asia in late 2004, joining Habitat for Humanity
International’s first team to Sri Lanka. He also led build teams
to Thailand, Cambodia and most recently, Vietnam.
In Canada, Neale has maintained his
commitment in serving on Habitat’s
first Funding Model Task Force
and leading the Grey-Bruce affiliate
in reaching its goal of completing
20 homes by its 20th anniversary
Neale Kemp cementing the
floor during the final day of
building a home for a family
near Khao Lak, Thailand,
an area devastated by the
tsunami of 2004.
Inspiring Others to Build Hope
Neale’s spirit is infectious and his
unmistakable “good job mate”
inspires those around him to support
the Habitat cause. For Neale, who
feels humbled by this award, helping
deserving families find decent,
affordable housing is the ultimate
Interested in Volunteering
Visit habitat.ca and click ‘Local Affiliate Offices’ to find your nearest
affiliate, who can let you know about local volunteer opportunities.
To volunteer internationally, go to ‘Global Village program’ in
Your Donations Inspire
Hope for Families
Our Commitment as Custodians of Your Support
Habitat for Humanity Canada relies on the generosity of your
donations to fulfill its mission and is committed to protecting and
respecting the rights of all donors. We take very seriously our
responsibility as custodians of the gifts that are bestowed on us
and believe that donors have a right to information that helps
them feel confident about their giving.
We Abide by AFP’s “Donor Bill of Rights” and
Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code Program
Our national organization adheres to the “Donor Bill of Rights”
endorsed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2008,
we were proud to be amongst the charter group of organizations
in the country to adopt Imagine Canada’s new Ethical Code Program,
We Ensure Every Cent Works Harder When Delivering
Our Services, While Continuing to Offer You Control
on Where Your Gift Is Provided
Habitat for Humanity Canada works hard to ensure that no
more is spent on administration and fundraising than is required,
to ensure effective management and resource development.
In all cases, our organization meets or exceeds Canada Revenue
Agency’s requirement for expenditures on charitable activities.
We are proud that our fundraising
costs are approximately 15% of
fundraising revenue – well below
the 20% cut off that Canada
Revenue Agency has set as its best
For More Information
Our Gift Acceptance Policy for Donors, as well as our 2008
To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca 3
The Home Depot Increases
New Partnerships Yield New Benefits
Expanding on their generous support of Habitat for Humanity
Canada’s (HFHC) ReStore program, The Home Depot Canada
recently opened up two new avenues in which product is donated
to ReStores, raising an additional $450,000 for affiliates across
the country. Funds generated through ReStore sales directly
support homebuilding projects and offset costs for Habitat.
Over the last year, Habitat has partnered directly with some of
The Home Depot’s major lighting, flooring and other manufacturers
who have donated new products worth more than $340,000
of the above total – product overruns that would once end up
thrown away are now being placed on ReStore shelves, and
in some cases, used directly in Habitat build projects. Additionally,
The Home Depot now donates returned goods from its online
sales and, during the fall of 2008 alone, contributed more than
$100,000 worth of these products to ReStores across Ontario.
Diverting Quality Products from Landfills to ReStore Shelves
The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer,
has been donating customer-returned products to Habitat for
Humanity ReStores through The Home Depot Return-to-Vendor
(RTV) program since 2001. The majority of this product is in new
or like-new condition and is in high demand in the ReStores.
The RTV program began as a small initiative in a handful of
The Home Depot stores, and today there are more than
145 participating stores around the country, raising more than
$2 million a year for Habitat homes. The aforementioned new
donations will add to the already strong RTV program, further
demonstrating The Home Depot’s commitment to the Habitat
Each year the Return-to-Vendor program
diverts an estimated 3,000 tonnes of usable
goods from landfills.
A Common Commitment to Building Affordable,
HFHC and The Home Depot share a unique partnership. Both
are committed to finding innovative ways to support affordable
and sustainable housing in Canada. In addition to the RTV
donation program, The Home Depot has given more than
$1 million in cash donations to help build homes in Canada that
incorporate a recognized sustainable building standard, helping
reduce partner families’ energy costs, while reducing thousands
of tons of CO 2 emissions per year. Every year, The Home Depot
staff volunteer a combined 7,000 hours on Habitat projects –
a stunning reflection of the company’s corporate values. Their
cash and product support totals more than $3 million per year,
representing the largest donation to Habitat in Canada and our
most integrated partnership.
alone, 700 skids
full of products
New President &
Chief Operating Officer
Our National Board of Directors is pleased to announce that
Stewart Hardacre has been appointed President & Chief Operating
Officer of Habitat for Humanity Canada.
Stewart Hardacre joined Habitat for Humanity Canada in May 2008
in the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer. Stewart
has an impressive management background with over 20 years
experience in senior executive positions, predominantly within the
professional services industry. Prior to joining Habitat, Stewart had
been the Executive Director of McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP,
a prestigious business law firm with offices in Toronto and Montreal.
Stewart had also been the Canadian Director of Finance &
Administration for Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a global, publicly
traded, human resource and benefits consultant. Accredited as
a Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.), he has pursued
professional development and leadership programs at the
Harvard School of Business and Queen’s University Executive
Leadership program. Stewart is an active and passionate volunteer
with Habitat for Humanity, previously serving as Treasurer of
the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Halton, as well
as participating on a Global Village trip to South America.
In December 2008 we received, and accepted with regret, the
resignation of David Hughes as our President & CEO. David has
taken on the role of president in another charitable organization
and while we will miss David’s leadership, we are honoured to have
had the opportunity to work with him and are pleased that Stewart
will carry on our shared commitment to alleviating poverty and
giving a hand up to those less fortunate. Through David’s efforts
over the past seven years, and with your support, our national
association has grown significantly the number of families we are
able to assist through our programs in Canada and abroad.
With this shift in leadership comes a renewed energy and focus
within our organization at a time when the need for affordable
housing could not be greater. Please join us in welcoming Stewart
to his new post as we continue our vital work together – making
4 To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca
2009 National Partners
Habitat for Humanity Canada is fortunate to have many committed partners – not all could be listed here.
To view the complete list of donors, please visit our website at: www.habitat.ca, select ‘About Habitat,’ and then ‘Sponsors.’
To learn more about becoming a supporter, please contact Jade Morrison by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at 1 800 667-5137, ext. 326.
— PLATINUM PARTNERS —
$1,000,000 and above
— GOLD PARTNERS —
$500,000 to $999,999
— SILVER PARTNERS —
$250,000 to $499,999
— BRONZE PARTNERS —
$100,000 to $249,999
To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca 5
Genworth Brings the
2nd Annual Meaning of Home Contest a Huge Success
Once again, Genworth Financial’s Meaning of Home Contest was
a resounding success, with over 2,000 children between the
ages of 9 and 12 submitting heart-warming views on what home
means to them.
“Through the simple act of
writing, the Meaning
of Home contest provides
a young generation with
a voice – a voice that
helps provide Canadian
families in need with
a home of their own.”
– Peter Vukanovich,
President of Genworth
The contest, which took place
last fall, was created to raise
awareness among students about
the importance of having a
home. But it achieves far more
Many of the children’s
submissions expressed that the
true value of home was not in
the structure or its belongings –
but in the actual feeling of
The winner, Jackson Topo, shared a personal account of how
the meaning of home shaped his life, even before he was born.
The grade six student from Mississauga, Ontario won a new
computer and a $60,000 donation to build a Habitat for Humanity
home in Sudbury, the community of his choice, where his late
Five runners-up also won the opportunity to help a family have
a home of their own, as Genworth donated $5,000 to a Habitat
for Humanity affiliate of their choice. Each has also received
a $100 gift certificate from Chapters-Indigo.
By challenging children to reflect on their own
circumstances and those of others, the contest
nurtures empathy and inspires hope.
The Runners-up were:
Jeremiah Votary (Grade 6) of Edmonton, Alberta; Allandra Power
(Grade 6) of Edmonton, Alberta; Michelle Stoopler (Grade 5)
of St. Laurent, Quebec; Ivana Brainerd (Grade 6) of Gloucester,
Ontario; and Jessica Jaikaran (Grade 4) of North York, Ontario.
For more information about The Meaning of Home Contest,
please visit www.meaningofhome.ca.
“You live in your home and probably don’t care.
You think that it is just a place where you eat,
sleep, and bathe. It isn’t. It is like a gift.
It isn’t one of those gifts that you wrap.
It is a privilege.”
– Jessica Jaikaran, Grade 4, Downsview, Ontario
“A house becomes a home when there are feelings of security,
comfort, good food and wonderful memories.”
– Allandra Power, Grade 6, Edmonton, Alberta
“A home is a place where memories are made and shared
amongst all those who live there and those who enter within.”
– Michelle Stoopler, Grade 5, St. Laurent, Quebec
The Meaning of Home
6 To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca
World’s Bottom Billion
much economic turmoil. We all know of the earthquakes, floods,
hurricanes and cyclones that have affected so many countries,
but few of us in Canada have experienced
them directly – and none of us can truly
understand their impact on the millions of
people who were already living in poverty.
We cannot truly comprehend what
life is like for the 1.2 billion people
who live in extreme poverty – most
of whom are malnourished and
Many of us have, however, been personally
impacted by global economic conditions,
including reduced investment and property values, heightened
insecurity and job losses. But it is difficult to imagine the impact
of these same conditions on people who earn less than $2 a day,
and spend most of that on food.
Creating a Global Village
Canadians Building Homes and Hope
Around the World
The Global Village (GV) program offers volunteers the opportunity
to take part in the “hands-on” construction or renovation of homes
for people in need of safe, decent, affordable shelter in more
than 40 countries.
A recent participant had this to say about her unique travel
“I had my first experience with the Global Village program
on the Chile team in January 2009, and I can honestly say
it was even better than I imagined.
The Habitat organization is absolutely incredible: from
start to finish, everything was taken care of, and the
organization provides a safe and rewarding experience.
Its purpose and mission is one to be a part of and proud of.
Habitat for Humanity Continues to Reach Out to People
in Need in Over 90 Countries
In the face of these incredible, somewhat impersonal numbers,
and thanks to your support and others like you, Habitat has
built more than 300,000 houses around the world, providing over
1.5 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent,
affordable shelter. This gives them security and stability, and also
leads to positive changes in terms of health, education and
Decent and Affordable Housing Is an
Important Step in Breaking the Cycle
You can help us reach more families
and enable them to realize their hopes
and dreams. Together, we can make a
difference and positively impact and
empower the lives of millions of people.
We Canadians are definitely facing
challenging times, but please remember
the “bottom billion” – the people for
whom the current global economic challenges may literally be
a matter of life or death.
For more information on our international programs, visit
habitat.ca and go to ‘Global Village Program’ in ‘Our Programs.’
Over 3,000 adventurous Canadians have gone on a Global Village
trip through HFH Canada since it was introduced just over
three years ago. In 2008 alone, we fielded nearly 1,400 volunteers
on 96 GV teams to 26 countries! These teams built 100 houses
and worked alongside local community members and the family
that would be purchasing the home, learning a great deal about
the community and about themselves in the process.
The incredible growth of this program is a clear indication that
Canadians want to make a difference in the world and be directly
involved in doing so.
If you want to join a GV team for a wonderful, even life-changing,
experience, don’t delay – sign up today! To learn more about
available GV trips please visit habitatglobalvillage.ca, or contact
Suzanne Bullock at email@example.com if you would like to
send a group from your school, church, service club, or business.
The greatest feeling in the world is to give to others...and
when you can do this with your own hands, the experience
is overwhelming! I would recommend this to anyone...
who has a heart. I will do another Global Village [trip]!”
– Kim, Newfoundland.
To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca 7
Donors Choosing to Go Green
Habitat for Humanity Sustainable Building Fund
Sustainable building is becoming a key focus for Habitat for Humanity
Canada (HFHC) and is also top of mind for donors who want to do
their part to protect the environment.
Homes built according to
energy efficiency standards
reduce the amount of
greenhouse gas emissions
released into the atmosphere
HFHC recently established the
Sustainable Building Fund as
part of a program that gives
associations and others a way
to ensure their donations are
directly supporting sustainable
by 3 tonnes per year.
building initiatives. The results of these donations are clear and
measurable, through reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The Sustainable Building Challenge – Helping Families
Save Money and the Environment
As utility costs rise, low-income families find it more and more
difficult to keep a roof over their heads, given the high proportion of
rental costs compared to their income, and already limited funds
which become stretched even further.
Habitat for Humanity affiliates can now apply to receive funding for
sustainable building projects through the Sustainable Building
Fund’s granting program.
Energy-efficient homes can save homeowners
up to 30 per cent in utility costs – a huge savings for
low-income families struggling to pay their bills.
Green Support Flowing In
Sponsors are already jumping on board. RBC, a long-time Habitat
supporter, became the founding member of the Fund last year,
investing $100,000 in addition to the money they contribute to
affiliates on an ongoing basis. Genworth Financial, MCAP and
PMI Canada have also contributed to the Fund.
While close to 40 per cent of the homes Habitat
now builds meet a recognized provincial
sustainability standard, the goal is to increase
that number to 100 per cent by 2011.
The time to effect environmental change is now. Donors interested
in contributing to the Sustainable Building Fund should visit our
online ‘Donate’ page and click ‘Donate to the Habitat for Humanity
Canada Foundation’ or call 1 800 667-5137 ext. 353.
The Importance of Leadership
in Sustainable Building
and Habitat for Humanity Announce
an Exciting New Award Program
This year Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC) and Great-West Life,
London Life and Canada Life proudly launched a new national
award recognizing leadership in sustainable and affordable homebuilding.
This award recognizes local leaders who advocate for
and employ sustainable building practices.
HFHC affiliates nominate deserving individuals and the winner
is then chosen by a panel of judges. The winner must demonstrate
that they’ve donated or raised funds for Habitat projects,
participated in sustainable build projects and advocated for the
incorporation of sustainable building practices. The selected
individual will receive, among other things, a $25,000 award that
they will direct to the affiliate of their choice to further sustainable
This year s winner was announced May 21st at the Great West Life Luncheon during the
HFHC AGM – more info on the winner to be included in the next issue of The Habitat Spirit.
8 To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca
Building the Greenest
Development in Canada
34 Homes Designed for Energy Efficiency
and Family Comfort
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Winnipeg is building a new 34-unit
sustainable housing site – set to be the greenest affordable
housing development in the country.
The Sir Sam Steele development will be built according to
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards
of high-performance green homes that use less energy, water
and natural resources; create less waste; and, are healthier and
more comfortable for homeowners. These energy-efficient homes
yield huge benefits for homeowners, reducing utility costs by
up to 30 per cent.
“These initiatives are going to save families
money – money they desperately need for other
necessities in their lives.” – Sandy Hopkins,
CEO of HFH Winnipeg
The sustainable building methods range from preserving top soil
before the foundations are even laid to adjusting house orientations
to take advantage of sun warmth, and installing solar panels,
low-flow toilets and energy-efficient furnaces.
Calling All Affiliates:
A Program Empowering
Excellence in Building
Rio Tinto Alcan Champions the Construction
of Safer, More Sustainable Homes in Canada
In 2008, Rio Tinto Alcan recognized the need to invest directly
in sustainable Habitat builds and launched a new award program
called the Sustainable Homes Programme. The program
encourages and promotes safer, sustainable homebuilding
practices amongst our affiliates, which helps protect our
environment and saves partner families much needed money
for other necessities.
“Through this innovative program Rio Tinto Alcan
helps make the dream of affordable homeownership
come true for more working families across
Canada, while delivering on their commitment
to protect the environment.”
– Luci Dion, Manager, Rio Tinto Alcan Canada Fund
To ensure that maintenance of the homes puts as little strain on
homeowners as possible, any technology used must be low-cost,
reliable, easy to use, and easily replaceable.
“This is a win-win situation for homeowners,
the environment and the community as a whole.”
– Sandy Hopkins, CEO of HFH Winnipeg
Leading by Example
“Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg is breaking new ground in
sustainable affordable housing and leading the way for others to
follow suit,” says Terry Petkau, Director of Building Services at
Habitat for Humanity Canada. These efforts have made waves in the
community, attracting major corporate partners, such as, The Home
Depot, Manitoba Hydro and Investors Group, all of whom have
pledged their support for sustainable, affordable homebuilding. HFH
Toronto has also started designing LEED homes with tremendous
The first 11 homes of Winnipeg’s exciting new sustainable housing
development are slated for completion by the end of this year.
An artist’s depiction of the
Sir Sam Steele housing
development, set to be
completed by 2011.
Prizes Totalling $200,000 Available
Applicants are judged on three key areas of building
achievement: quality, safety and innovation. Rio Tinto Alcan will
present 13 HFHC affiliates with awards totalling $200,000 –
the top prize: $100,000.* For information on the program, visit
Rio Tinto Alcan’s Long-term Incentive Program
Support of Habitat
Since 2004, Rio Tinto Alcan (formally known as Alcan) has helped
Habitat across the country build homes, while helping us reduce
our impact on the environment through the creation and launch
of the Alcan Builds on Recycling Program. Through the program,
Rio Tinto Alcan:
than $550,000 to HFH, funding 8 new
Habitat houses in Canada
We are grateful for their ongoing support.
*2008 prizes announced May 23rd at HFHC’s AGM – and more info on the
winners on our website in June.
To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca 9
Pride, Dignity and Building
Homes out of Anthills
Global Village Program Director, Rick Tait,
Recounts His Experience Building in Zambia
Since recently returning from leading a Global Village (GV) team of
18 people, I’ve been referring to the residents of Nkwazi village
as “the amazing Zambians who build houses out of anthills.”
Margaret Mead once said
that “you should never
doubt that a small group
of people can change
the world” and nowhere
is that more in evidence
than in Nkwazi.
Nkwazi is an “urban” suburb of
the city of Ndola, which donated
land to Habitat for Humanity
for 200 houses. We were working
on house numbers 87 and 88,
and already those 88 houses –
each about 16x24 feet, consisting
of four rooms – were home to
GV volunteers and community
members building a brick wall.
Zambia – Sharing Hopes
We All Share
Zambia is a landlocked country
in southern Africa, home to
11 million people, about 1 million of
whom are living with HIV/AIDS
and another 1 million orphaned
children. Almost half of the
population is under the age of 14,
and life expectancy has dropped
from 57 years in the 1980’s to 37 years today. In spite of these
grim numbers, there is an overriding resilience and a basic desire
to make the most of their country. All the Zambian people want
is a safe place to live, food to eat, and a chance for their children
to go to school and hopefully have a better life than their parents.
Village Pride – Building Homes for Future Doctors
As we drove up to the village, we were immediately struck by
how clean it was – the pride and dignity in its very being. During
our trip, we were fortunate to speak with villagers about their
dreams for the future – dreams of someday owning their home,
and seeing their children get through high school. Their children
spoke about becoming doctors or starting businesses. The villagers
truly appreciate their community – and they build houses out
Nothing Wasted – Even Anthills Are Recycled
in the Homebuilding Process
Something we couldn’t help notice as we flew above the dry and
desolate country surrounding Nkwazi, on our approach were huge
piles of dirt the size of small houses, which were actually termite
mounds (or “anthills”). Since there are so many anthills, the Zambians
use them as “soil” to create stabilized bricks for the Habitat
homes – some cement is added to the soil, mixed with just the right
amount of water, and then shovelled into a hand operated press
that compresses the soil/cement into a brick, which is set in the
sun to dry. In Nkwazi, the actual Habitat homebuilding is quite
straightforward: bricks and mortar, a tin roof and a concrete floor.
When I asked each
participant why they
came on the trip, the
was that they wanted to
feel like they were making
a difference – they wanted
to be part of the process
and the solution, instead
of watching from the
Our Diverse Team –
from 18 to 76 Years-old
One of the joys of being a Team
Leader is being able to experience
a Global Village trip with people
from all walks of life who share
a common purpose to help
families in need. Our 76 year-old
had been on 7 other GV trips.
Our 18-year-old South African
student, on her “gap” year before
going to college, felt that she
had led a pretty privileged life and
it was time to get out and do
something. The rest of the group was an amazing mix of
firefighters, pharmacists, TV producers, full-time moms, bank tellers,
and retired folks.
An enchanting view of the Habitat Village in Nkwazi, Zambia.
Help Improve Our “Global Village”
When Marshall McLuhan used the term “Global Village” in 1962
to describe how the world would change in the new electronic
age, I wonder if he foresaw the effect on volunteering and the
world of international development. The Global Village program
opens a new window on the world allowing us to change what
we can for the better! Please consider making a donation to the
Global Village program, or help fund someone’s GV trip, to continue
to improve our Global Village.
~ Written by Rick Tait, Director, Global Village Program
The Nkwazi GV
10 To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca
Affordable Housing is a
Path to Self-Sufficiency
As a nation, Canada enjoys a reputation as one of the best places
in the world to live. The United Nations Human Development
Index has ranked Canada amongst the top ten countries in the
world; a place where citizens can expect to lead a long and
healthy life, with access to the resources required to maximize
their full potential.
Canada’s Housing Crisis is “A National Emergency”
Yet, in stark contrast to this status, Canada continues to struggle
against a national housing crisis characterized by homelessness,
substandard housing conditions, an aging social-housing stock,
high energy costs and a persistent gap between the average cost
of housing and the median income. In recent years, the UN
has described the state of homelessness and inadequate housing
in Canada as “a national emergency.” The emergency is most
acute in Canada’s urban centres and amongst the more vulnerable
groups of the population which include women, immigrants
and Aboriginal peoples.
The Impact of Affordable Homes on Families
Habitat for Humanity Canada sees affordable homeownership
as a means to a better life. Our homeownership program focuses
on building the capacity and self-sufficiency of others – so they
can help themselves.
We know that having a decent and affordable home has an impact
on the health and well-being of a family that goes far beyond
what is provided by the physical shelter. Kids do better in school,
parents’ employment prospects improve and families report
that they are happier and better equipped to face life’s challenges.
Habitat for Humanity
Expresses Deep Sorrow at
the Passing of Our Founder
Our Thoughts are with the Entire Fuller Family
Early in February, we were deeply saddened by the loss of
Millard Fuller, the visionary whose ideas and tireless work founded
Habitat for Humanity in 1976 in Americus, Georgia. Mr. Fuller
served as the organization’s leader for 29 years.
The idea for Habitat for Humanity was born out
of Mr. Fuller’s unsettled experience as an affluent
entrepreneur when he and his wife, Linda, gave
up their wealth in search of using their lives in the
service of those less fortunate.
He and his wife developed, with some assistance, the concept
of “partnership housing” – a program in which those in need of
adequate shelter would work side-by-side with volunteers to build
Please consider making an investment in building better
communities and giving hope to families in need by making
a donation to Habitat for Humanity.
When a family can count
on reliable costs and a safe
home environment, they
are able to move down the
path from ‘surviving’ to
‘thriving’; they are enabled
to help themselves, and
in turn, help others and
contribute to building a
Did you know that?
Around the world, every minute, 20 people die from conditions
related to substandard housing
4 million Canadians are in need of decent, affordable housing
A child living in inadequate housing is 10 times more likely
to contract meningitis, respiratory problems or asthma
Children living in overcrowded conditions are less likely
to graduate from high school
When Habitat homeowners settle in a new affordable home,
many of them are able to:
time with their family
simple, decent homes. These homes were sold at no profit with
interest-free mortgages, the payments of which were used to
build more houses.
An Inspired Journey, a Lasting Legacy
Thanks to Millard Fuller’s efforts, Habitat for Humanity has now
helped more than 300,000 families and 1.5 million people in 3,000
communities worldwide. For his work, he received numerous
accolades and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
the nation’s highest civilian honour, by former President Bill Clinton.
Mr. Fuller’s inspiration lives on in Habitat’s mission to create a
world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.
Millard and Linda Fuller
turned a simple idea into an
with the aim of building
homes around the world,
and making the dream
of homeownership a reality
for many that would not
otherwise have been
To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca 11
Additional Ways to Support
Families in Need
Given the current economic climate, there’s increased need for
Habitat’s services. However, in tough economic times, it may
be difficult for some to increase their donation to meet this need.
Here’s a list of other ways you can help families in need of safe,
items from a recent reno project – and help the environment! 1
Please consider leaving a legacy through a planned gift – a bequest
in your will or gift of securities 2
provided for affordable housing and tell them the importance
of this issue to you personally
- Consider asking this question: “What are you doing to make
the dream of homeownership more attainable for low income
families in your community and across Canada?”
- Use our webpage tool to promote your event to those in your
online address book
- Whether it’s a garage or bake sale, walk-a-thon or in lieu of gifts,
or in support of a Habitat build – let your imagination be your guide!
services such as advertising, consulting and administration
- Have your company sponsor a build and get employees out to
a build site
double your support to Habitat!
- If you’ve donated recently, inquire with your employer if they
have a matching gift program, which means that they will match
- As each program is a little different, please check with your
employer for more details
Go to habitat.ca for more information.
The Habitat for Humanity Canada Foundation
Effective January 1, 2009, as part of an effort to increase both the efficiency and transparency
of our work, Habitat for Humanity Canada’s fundraising activities now operate under the
name “Habitat for Humanity Canada Foundation.”
As a valued donor, you can expect the same level of excellent service and communication
as you have in the past with the simple change that all future donations be made payable
to the Habitat for Humanity Canada Foundation.
For more information, please visit the ‘About Us’ section of habitat.ca.