AVON, Colorado - A group of 21 local Habitat for Humanity volunteers will travel to Nepal to participate in the International Everest Build Oct. 8-12. Together with other volunteers from the United States, New Zealand, Great Britain, Australia, Singapore, South Korea and other Asian countries, there will be about 440 international volunteers building side by side with hard-working Nepalese families to complete 37 homes in Dhulikhel, Kavre, just east of Kathmandu.
Habitat for Humanity Nepal builds in every major geographic area of the country, providing an affordablehouse using the resources available in each location. This may mean mud and brick, bamboo or "green" clay bricks. These houses replace the thatch, straw, mud and bamboo houses that are now just pieced together. Habitat for Humanity Nepal also partners with other nonprofits to help teach families how to build homes, provide disaster-response help to communities affected by flooding and to provide clean water and proper sanitation to families in need.
Nearly 90 percent of Nepal's 22 million people live in the rural plains and mountain areas, primarily as subsistence farmers. Forty-five percent of Nepal's population lives below the poverty line, with one infant in every 10 dying before the age of 5. A lack of employment and poverty has forced one in 10 of the rural population to migrate to the capital, Kathmandu, and other cities - resulting in a shortage of adequate housing in towns and cities, crowded living spaces and the growth of substandard housing.
The goal at Habitat for Humanity International is to provide a self-sufficient home building model to have a lasting effect on the developing country. The building experience often has a lasting effect on the volunteers, as well.
Dick Bourret, local Habitat board member, has been on many Global Village trips to several different continents.
"A trip like this will change your life," he said. "Everyone who has the opportunity to attend a build trip in a country like Nepal will gain far more than they can possibly contribute. And joining so many other countries to support these families will have such a tremendous impact."
The Habitat for Humanity program has the same "hand up" model all around the world. The families help build their house alongside volunteers and then pay a monthly mortgage on their new home.
Habitat builds affordable homes in partnership with local families in need. Founded in 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties has built 35 homes to date housing over 110 children. For more information or to donate or volunteer visit www.HabitatVailValley.org