Last Friday I decided to test out one of the volunteer opportunities I’ve had the pleasure of writing about on my blog: Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build. After interviewing Lisa Marie Nickerson, Associate Director of Women Build (to read post, click here) I was inspired to see what this program and experience was all about. I signed up for a time slot and was able to help out for a few hours on Friday morning.
The week before Mother’s Day, May 4-12th marks the 6th Annual Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Week, a week to celebrate and empower women around the nation to help improve their communities by building homes for those in need. Women Build is an opportunity for women from all walks of life to come together and address the severe housing crisis facing millions of women and children around the world. According to the Census Bureau, more than 16 million children are living in poverty in the United States and nearly 48 percent of the children reside with women as head of the household. Women Build is a way for women to help other women and work together to build a stronger, more stable community.
This post is the second piece of a two-part series on the recent Carter Work Project and Habitat for Humanity’s work in Haiti. To read the first post “The Story of How 600 Volunteers Built 100 Homes in a Week” click here.
In lieu of pictures, this video says it all. The commitment, the teamwork, the compassion and the hope that these volunteers have given to people who have lost it all.
Above: “Our Carter Work Project closing ceremonies video celebrates the impact of 100 new homes built in Haiti by more than 600 volunteers alongside families affected by the 2010 earthquake.”
I am honored to be writing a two part series on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. Recently 600 volunteers from around the world set off to Haiti as part of the Carter Work Project for the second year in a row with the goal of building 100 homes in a week. Here is their story.
“Men anpil, chay pa lou.”
Many hands [make] the load lighter.
In 1984, President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn created the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in response to the basic need of simple, decent and affordable shelter for people around the world. For 29 consecutive Mr. and Mrs. Carter have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for one week building homes and hope in over 14 countries. Past missions have brought people together to build homes as close as Mexico and Canada and as far away as South Africa and the Philippines. It has been an amazing feat and even more impressive given the fact that Carter and his wife Rosalynn, who are both in their mid-eighties, are right there with the volunteers on the ground, pouring in their heart, sweat and soul, in every project.
Last week I participated in a live Twitter Party on behalf of Mom Bloggers for Social Good for Habitat for Humanity’s work in Haiti. If you have never done a Twitter party or have no idea what I’m even talking about, let me explain. Basically a group of people interested in learning about a topic jump onto Twitter at a designated point in time and use the same hashtag (ours was #HabitatinHaiti). A good Twitter party is well-managed and moderated by asking the attendees a group of questions which creates dialogue. It is a fantastic way to learn more about a given topic, spread the word and be an armchair advocate.
I learned a lot last week during our Habitat for Haiti chat but what stuck with me most was one question in particular: “What is community?”.