Local volunteer helps build hope in India

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Friday, November 8th, 2013
Community, Features
Warrenpoint woman Cathy Lavery is calling on people within the local community to get involved with Habitat NI after she had a rewarding experience volunteering earlier this year.

Habitat NI volunteer Cathy Lavery pictured with local children on her Global Village trip to India

Her call comes ahead of Habitat NI launching their volunteering opportunities for 2014. Cathy travelled to India in June 2013 as part of a Habitat Global Village volunteer team to help build homes alongside future homeowner families. “Volunteering with Habitat NI was one of best experiences of my life. It was so rewarding to be part of a team and work alongside the future homeowner families,” Cathy told Newry Times. “It was a privilege to work alongside truly inspiring women in the local community who were determined to build a better future for their families. It gave me a true sense of how something so simple as a decent home can have a huge impact on a family.” In 2014, Habitat NI have similar volunteer opportunities open to any individual or small group to destinations including Ethiopia, Cambodia, South Africa and Romania. Special builds including a Women Build in India are also being organised. This unique event will bring together women from all over the world to work beside local women and learn about the impact of poverty housing first hand. Speaking about her experience in India, Cathy explained, “It soon became clear that we weren’t just building homes, we were giving them the hand up they needed to build their own way out of poverty. “It reaffirmed the unique impact of Habitat’s work on vulnerable people. I would like to thanks those who donated money and wished me well on my trip. I would thoroughly encourage everyone in the local community to get involved in this life changing experience and volunteer with Habitat NI in 2014.” Over the last 12 years more than 4,000 people from across Northern Ireland have travelled as Global Village volunteers to some of the world’s poorest communities to help families in desperate need of safe, decent shelter build their way out of poverty. As well as teams where individuals can join, every year groups from schools, churches, businesses or family and friends form their own team and embark on the volunteer journey together. Joanne Briggs, Habitat NI’s Volunteer Manager said, “Every day in almost 80 countries around the world Habitat for Humanity is helping families build their own way out of poverty. “Habitat works beside people; building or renovating homes, helping change the policies which keep people trapped in poverty or ensuring families get access to clean water which can make a world of difference to a whole community. “More than 90% of our work goes on every day in local communities yet volunteers remain at the heart of our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live because we believe that the transformational impacts, the building of relationships and hope can change how the world works.” Habitat is hosting information sessions for individuals or groups interested in finding out more. The next session will take place on Thursday 21st November at 7:30pm at Habitat ReStore, Riverside Centre, Lisburn. Other dates and full details of the 2014 opportunities are available at www.habitatni.co.uk or by emailing gv@habitatni.co.uk If you would like to find out more about how you can support Habitat’s work by fundraising or making a donation please visit habitatni.co.uk or call 028 92 635 635.
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