Students Travel to Zambia to Build Houses for Families in Need

Monday, 3 March 2008

Twenty-one NUI Galway student volunteers are to spend two weeks in Zambia participating in a house building project. The students will leave for the village of Kawama in Northern Zambia on 30 May, and will work with local affiliates of Habitat for Humanity (HFH). HFH is an internationally acclaimed self build housing organisation at work in almost 100 countries and their aim is to make the elimination of poverty housing a matter of conscience and action.

The student group is being led by Fr. Iomar Daniels, Dean of Chaplaincy Service, NUI Galway, with the help of three team leaders, "The NUI Galway team are currently fundraising to cover the costs of the trip and their donation to HFH. They are planning karaoke, concerts, table quizzes and many more events in the coming months. With all the energy and enthusiasm going into fundraising we hope to see the group off to an auspicious start".

The volunteers will work under the supervision of local skilled trades people, doing work such as bricklaying, carpentry, plastering and painting. They will work alongside local volunteers and families.

One of the student volunteers, third-year Bachelor of Commerce student Katie Crudden from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, says "The team is very excited about the new experiences they will encounter during their trip. We are all looking forward to living and working in the community, meeting the people of Kawama, learning new skills and helping families to build simple affordable homes".

HFH homes are different in every country and in Zambia they are constructed from clay blocks and covered with corrugated iron sheets. This is in comparison to typical Zambian homes that are grass thatched mud and wattle structures requiring annual overhauling. An estimated 86% of the population of Zambia live below the poverty line, the families most in need that purchase HFH homes repay about £5 a month which is then put back into making more homes in the community.

For more information on the trip, or to make a donation please contact Fr. Iomar Daniels on 091-492168 or iomar.daniels@nuigalway.ie. Donations can also be made on the Zambia group website at www.mycharity.ie/event/nuigzambia08/

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