Now retired, I first came across Habitat for Humanity when I was Managing Director of Touchstone, a company managing homes across the United Kingdom in the private rented sector. At the request of concerned colleagues we made a substantial donation to Habitat following the Nepal earthquake and, through this relationship, learned about the Global Village programme.
As a business we had for some time been seeking a charity with whom staff could really engage over time - rather than just writing a large cheque once a year. In consultation with colleagues Touchstone agreed to support a 3 year programme building 24 houses near Salima in Malawi and I was lucky enough to be part of the build team in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2018 I also was part of an open team which built in Homa Bay in Kenya.
I am deeply committed to the Global Village programme. It isn’t just taking part in building a house for a vulnerable family which is so important. It’s the emotional and life changing experience of working with that family, local contractors, Habitat staff and the team. Friends are made who you may never see again. But you will never, ever forget them. And your view of a global society will be changed for ever.