In this issue: - Habitat for Humanity Canada

In this issue: - Habitat for Humanity Canada

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:


124 Merton Street, Suite 401

Toronto, ON M4S 2Z2

1 800 667-5137, Fax: 416 646-0574

Photo Credits:

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.


Stewart Hardacre

President & COO

Habitat for Humanity Canada

See “Introducing Our New President

& Chief Operating Officer” on page 4

2 To donate, participate or advocate visit

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

affordable housing.

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

in 2007.

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 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

‘Our Programs’.

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.

Fundraising expenses

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

performance ranking.

Support services

For More Information

Our Gift Acceptance Policy for Donors, as well as our 2008

To donate, participate or advocate visit 3

The Home Depot Increases

ReStore Donations

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,

Sustainable Housing

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.

In February

alone, 700 skids

full of products

were distributed

to ReStores



Introducing Our

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

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:, select ‘About Habitat,’ and then ‘Sponsors.’

To learn more about becoming a supporter, please contact Jade Morrison by email at

or by phone at 1 800 667-5137, ext. 326.


$1,000,000 and above


$500,000 to $999,999


$250,000 to $499,999


$100,000 to $249,999

To donate, participate or advocate visit 5

Genworth Brings the

Message Home

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

Financial Canada

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

than that.

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

grandfather lived.

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

“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

Remembering the

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

inadequately housed.

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

of Poverty

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 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, or contact

Suzanne Bullock at 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 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

corporations, individuals,

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

building efforts.*

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

Building the Greenest

Affordable Housing

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

community support.

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 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

700 people.

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.

Sound familiar?

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

of anthills!

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

overwhelming response

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

Canada Team.

10 To donate, participate or advocate visit

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

stronger community.

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

international organization

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 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,

affordable housing.

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?”

your help


- 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

your donations

- As each program is a little different, please check with your

employer for more details

Go to 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

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