Our Work Overseas
The provision of permanent housing solutions has traditionally been and continues to be the cornerstone of Habitat for Humanity’s programs. Building homes does more than put a roof over someone’s head. Safe, adequate housing:
- Provides a place for families to live in security, privacy and dignity;
Offers a space for children to study;
Leads to improved health and well being;
Provides a basis for asset building and wealth creation.
But housing solutions alone cannot deliver the sort of broad, lasting change needed to reduce inequalities and break the cycle of poverty. Achieving sustainable development requires a holistic, integrated set of interventions capable of addressing the many root causes of poverty. That’s why Habitat for Humanity Australia's housing solutions form part of a broader program of community development activities in the areas of health, water and sanitation, livelihoods and community governance. To find out more about Habitat for Humanity Australia's integrated community development objectives, click here.
Habitat for Humanity Australia recognises that sustainable change is best achieved when families and communities are personally involved in improving their own circumstances. Underpinning this approach is the recognition that poor and disadvantaged people are rights holders with entitlements and deserve to be treated with dignity. Empowering local communities means developing their capacities to respond to and meet their own development needs.
A 'Hand Up' Not a 'Hand Out'
All Habitat for Humanity projects are driven by community needs. Our grounds up approach values local knowledge and provides opportunities for community and government stakeholders to participate in project design and delivery. Habitat's partner families are expected to make contributions to projects in the form of financial deposits and voluntary labour. The concept of ‘sweat equity’ refers to the number of hours that each family is required to contribute to the building of their own and others’ homes. This encourages greater ownership and fosters positive relationships within the community.
Much of our success in addressing poverty housing is owed to our investments in strong partnerships. Habitat for Humanity Australia works collaboratively with other actors who share our values and objectives. This includes local and international NGOs, bilateral agencies, church-based organisatons and government or private/philanthropic organisations that can provide specialised delivery to ensure that our projects have maximum impact.
Habitat for Humanity Australia also works closely with local Habitat offices who help ensure that our interventions are sustainable, as well as locally owned and driven. We pursue partnerships based on a shared commitment to combating poverty through a holistic, community development framework. Our partnerships are built on principles of mutual trust, transparency and accountability.