News

The new Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019 – June 2020) finds us investing and building greater capacities in our team, and finding new and innovative ways to raise awareness, make friends and grow funds. Since 1997, we have served 877 families with shelter solutions – new houses, repairs, renovations, completions – and trained 4,951 people. We have supported almost 25,000 people in their quest for safe, decent, adequate and affordable shelter!  With your unwavering support in the years to come, we can serve many more persons in need of safe, decent and affordable access to shelter.

Architects of Change Banner

To this end, we are happy to introduce you to the work of our Architects of Change.   Five caring citizens have answered the call to take small, yet significant actions in their lives, and become an Architect of Change for our country. Because they believe that everyone deserves a decent place to call home, these long-standing supporters of Habitat’s work are prepared to put themselves forward to encourage their peers and the national community to work with us. We all have the power to be Architects of Change in our own lives, in our own homes and our own communities. This is the opportunity to challenge what is, imagine what can be, then create the future we want for our country. Together, we CAN make a difference, play a part in moving our nation forward and ultimately, build safe, stable and self-reliant, caring, conscious, connected and compassionate communities.

 

 

 

PROJECTS

Proman's CEO David Cassidy helping Cherrylyn to build her home

Proman’s CEO David Cassidy helping Cherrylyn to build her home

The Proman Group has completed the first year of a multi-year collaboration with Habitat for Humanity. Two demonstration houses and two repair projects were completed, and the four families joined Proman’s team on the Painting and Dedication Day in Valencia. Proman also supports our Disaster Resilience Programme by funding free public discussions on Family Emergency Preparation and Healthy Housing Habits.  We can do targeted presentations for schools, communities and vulnerable groups (persons with disabilities, gender communities), so if you would like to learn more, please contactus@habitat-tt.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Trinidad Systems Limited (TSL) – Foundation

This project began as a simple micr0-build, with the TSL Foundation offering to support Chantal in Valencia. TSL is celebrating 40 years of service in Trinidad and welcomed this collaboration with Habitat in serving a family. This team was so excited to help and convinced their clients to take an interest in the family.  The result? Chantal and her three young children will soon move into a NEW house! To date, more than 50 TSL volunteers have come out to support the cause!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Coosals

In November 2019, Habitat hosted the groundbreaking ceremony to herald the start of construction for Angela in collaboration with Coosals Group of Companies. Angela is legally blind and her son Aaron has cerebral palsy. Angela’s story was featured on the front page in the Trinidad Express on November 9th, 2019. Sieunarine Coosal joined the Habitat Advisory Board in 2006 and later transitioned to the Capital Campaign Cabinet. He was inducted into the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame in 2019, and he is one of the four influential corporate leaders seen in the Habitat Endorsement Videos aired daily on CCN TV6 to highlight our work in the national community. We have benefited tremendously from millions of TT Dollars in blocks, gravel, fill and other construction inputs from this Spirit of Humanity Award winner over the years, and the Group will continue their journey with us in FY20, supporting Habitat Homeowners through in-kind donations of building materials for new houses and micro builds.

 

 

  • Point Lisas Nitrogen Limited (PLNL)

Habitat partnered with PLNL to gift 25 families within their fence line with Christmas Hampers. Four of the families represented lost fisher folk in ambushes earlier this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Support – Capital Campaign Cabinet

At the end of 2019 Mr. Ronald Harford, Chairman of the Capital Campaign Cabinet retired his position at Republic Bank and also indicated that he will be stepping down from all other duties and responsibilities.  A “Thank You” reception is planned for February 13th 2020 to say our farewells to Mr. Harford, and to chart the way forward for the Campaign and the Cabinet members. 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Police Youth Group project

The “Recycle for a Life Cycle” was hosted on Saturday 19th October 2019 at the Police Administration compound at Riverside Plaza. Young people (and the young at heart!) attended from across the Police Youth Groups network. It was a successful day and the participants proudly displayed their finished products.

 

 

 

 

  • Starbucks

We celebrated World Habitat Day 2019 with a collaboration with Starbucks in Trinidad and Tobago. This coffee morning was instrumental in raising awareness of our work.

 

 

  • Rotary Club of Port of Spain West

This group joined forces with the Rotoract and painted Hannah’s house in Sangre Grande.  It’s an annual event for the Rotary Club in Trinidad and Tobago, with various groups coming together to support our homeowners in their quest to acquire safe, decent and affordable housing.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Annual General Meeting

Held at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, this year’s gathering welcomed the new Habitat for Humanity Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Ernesto Garcia, to Trinidad and Tobago for his first visit.  In his feature address, he emphasized the importance of Housing as a process that creates a sense of place and dignity, building community cohesion as well as one’s social and financial network and assets. These changes benefit the larger community, reducing inequality and building resilience against economic and natural disasters. Read more …

 

 

 

  • Shelter Report

For the last  22 years, we have empowered many citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to achieve a better quality of life through safe and affordable housing.  Since 1997, we have served 877 families with shelter solutions – new houses, repairs, renovations, completions – and trained 4,951 people. We have supported almost 25,000 people in their quest for safe, decent, adequate and affordable shelter! During the past year, we’ve been able to provide 130 shelter solutions, raised TT$5.9m in funding and facilitated 6,028 volunteer hours.  To see all of the highlights and accomplishments from the last year, please click here.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please share them with contactus@habitat-tt.org.

Click here to make an online donation to support our work. You can also donate through our Republic Bank account #180482534101.

 

Habitat Trinidad and Tobago is pleased to share our latest Annual Report with you.

 

For the last  22 years, we have empowered many citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to achieve a better quality of life through safe and affordable housing.

 

Since 1997, we have served 877 families with shelter solutions – new houses, repairs, renovations, completions – and trained 4,951 people. We have supported almost 25,000 people in their quest for
safe, decent, adequate and affordable shelter!

 

During the past year, we’ve been able to provide 130 shelter solutions, raised TT$5.9m in funding and facilitated 6,028 volunteer hours.

 

To see all of the highlights and accomplishments from the last year, please click here.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please share them with contactus@habitat-tt.org.

 

Click here to make an online donation to support our work. You can also donate through our Republic Bank account #180482534101.

 

From our Habitat family to our extended family, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Our year long events and initiatives could not have been successful if it weren’t for your contributions, and for that we say Thank You!

 

Habitat Trinidad-Tobago 2018 Christmas Card - a patchwork of blue, green and red coloured blocks, interspersed with photos of Habitat Homeowners with their family members and volunteers.

2018 was a challenging year for Habitat Trinidad and Tobago, as it was for the country as a whole and yet we, like our fellow Trinbagonians, met each and every challenge with a positive attitude and a determination to make the best of the situation and rise above our challenges – in short, with a commitment to Build Back Better!

As we enter 2019, we reaffirm our commitment to support the most vulnerable members of society, through our microfinancing initiatives, our community development projects, our housing programme and our local and regional disaster mitigation and recovery plans.

We welcome your support of your time, talent and treasure, as we work together to build strong, stable and self-reliant communities in the Caribbean!

 

We are celebrating International Volunteer Day #IVD2018  with a tribute to the Midlothian Football Team.

 

In November 2017 twelve members of Midlothian Walking Football Team visited Trinidad and Tobago. They were on a journey of a lifetime – coming to the Caribbean and working with Habitat for Humanity to assist families on a pathway to permanence.

 

The Team was headed by Vivian Wallace, the Ageing Well Coordinator, and the members were both men and women. They worked on three Habitat Homes, painting and casting foundations in Central Trinidad and Sangre Grande. They spent time with Strategic Learning & Special Education Institute Limited meeting the children and teaching them the basics of this form of the beautiful game! Walking football is an ideal form of exercise for people with mobility challenges, and is suitable for any age – the youngsters at Strategic were thrilled to be able to score goals against the grownups!

 

Team members also gave several interviews promoting Walking Football as well as the Global Village concept to the wider population.

 

After a week on our sister isle, Tobago the team returned home. This was not the end of their journey as they continue to keep in touch with the families and children they met.

 

Most recently on November 1, 2018, Ms. Wallace and her team presented the Aging Well Programme to the Scottish Parliament. Habitat was highlighted there as they used their trip to demonstrate how the aging population can find purpose in giving back and remain active.

 

 

About IVD2018:

Each year, the United Nations designates Dec. 5 as a day for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their shared missions and promote the work in their communities. Habitat for Humanity is joining the United Nations and other organizations around the world on this day to recognize local volunteers and share stories of their impact.

For 2018, International Volunteer Day will recognize volunteers worldwide who contribute to making their communities more resilient against natural disasters, economic stresses and political shocks. The campaign theme will be: Volunteers Build Resilient Communities.

This year’s campaign will highlight the role of women volunteering in their communities and the fact that they represent over 50 percent of volunteers worldwide.

Proman Chief Executive David Cassidy and Habitat Trinidad National Manager Jennifer Massiah shake hands
Photo of CEOs of Proman subsidiaries in Trinidad with representatives of Habitat for Humanity

CEOs of Proman subsidiaries in Trinidad with representatives of Habitat for Humanity – National Director Jennifer Massiah (front row centre) and Resource Development Officer Carlene Pooran (3rd from right)

Port of Spain, 5 December 2018 – One of the world’s leading petrochemical producers, Proman, and the leading international housing charity, Habitat for Humanity, have today announced a multi-year partnership that will ensure thousands of people have access to safe, decent and affordable housing, as well as support multiple long-term community projects around the world.

 

In an initial two-year partnership, Proman will be donating US$1.2 million (just over TT$8 million) to support a range of home building, disaster resilience and emergency response projects across mainly Trinidad and Tobago, but also Europe, and the United States. This follows Proman’s donation of TT$1 million in October 2018 to Living Water Community, to assist in relief and recovery efforts following the devastating floods in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

David Cassidy, Chief Executive of Proman, welcomed the initiative and said: “The partnership with Habitat for Humanity as a whole reaffirms, and strengthens,  our deeply held values as a company: to act as long-term partners with all of the communities and in all of the countries, in which we operate. Investing in the sustainable development of our people, our places and the local economy is not only our responsibility but a fundamental part of who we are as Proman. We have always prioritised local content. We always look to the long-term.”

 

Proman’s local subsidiaries CNC and N2000 are proud to have supported Habitat for Humanity in Trinidad and Tobago since 2012, and today’s announcement builds on their joint achievements. Together, Proman Group and Habitat for Humanity will be focussing on delivering the practical support that makes a real and lasting difference to the lives of those most in need.

 

Photo of Proman Chief Executive David Cassidy (middle-aged Caucasian man dressed in blue business suit) and Habitat Trinidad-Tobago National Director Jennifer Massiah (middle-aged mixed race woman dressed in Habitat Trinidad-Tobago teeshirt and black-and-white patterned skirt) in discussion at the formal announcement

Proman Chief Executive David Cassidy and Habitat Trinidad-Tobago National Director Jennifer Massiah in discussion

Throughout the duration of the partnership, Proman’s donation will be complemented by ongoing volunteer and fundraising work by Proman employees, focussing initially on the communities most closely tied to Proman’s operations around the world.

 

 “We are very grateful for partners like Proman and their commitment to deliver practical and long-lasting support to local communities in Trinidad & Tobago, Europe and the United States,” said Torre Nelson, area vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Habitat for Humanity. “Together we can help empower families to achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life.”

 

David Cassidy added, “This is an important initiative, and one that we want every member of our team, across the whole of the Proman family of companies, to be involved in. We all, including myself, have a critical role to play in making this partnership with Habitat for Humanity a success. We will look forward to working together to make a positive impact on the communities in which we operate.”

 

The partnership will officially launch in January 2019.

Habitat Trinidad and Tobago is working with the national community to help families affected by the October Floods.

HABITAT HOMEOWNERS: Contact 489-4663 by WhatsApp and email construction@habitat-tt.org for assistance with your Habitat house

CORPORATE DONORS: Contact 782-4663 or 742-4663 and email donate@habitat-tt.org

VOLUNTEERS: Contact 398-8389 or email volunteer@habitat-tt.org or contactus@habitat-tt.org

For online donations, please go to https://www.habitat-tt.org/product/donation/

 

International Day for Disaster Reduction began in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.  Here in Trinidad and Tobago, Habitat for Humanity has been working steadily in this area, in order to properly prepare our country for unforeseen events.

Our landslide mitigation project in Moriah, Tobago helped homeowners in the sister isle build retaining walls to prevent landslips and protect their homes and community.  We also upgraded the Community Centre to a full Emergency Shelter, designed to accommodate the families in the event of a natural or manmade disater.  Local and international volunteer teams contributed thousands of hours of labour on this project.

 

 

Photo Gallery

We have trained dozens of participants from the Regional Corporations, TEMA, regional Red Cross Societies, ADRA, key Ministries and NGOS in best practices for humanitarian aid during disasters.  The international SPHERE Standards for Humanitarian Response show how communities and individuals can effectively respond to events even with limited resources at their disposal.  Photo Gallery: https://goo.gl/AAMTE7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also train community leaders in the internationally-renowned PASSA (PArticipatory Approach to Safer Shelter Access) system, developed by Habitat for Humanity and the IFRC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Gallery: https://goo.gl/6xQTZB

And we continue leading the Caribbean Shleter Actors helping the region to recover from hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.  The main project in Dominica, in collaboration with the Luthern World Relief humanitarian organisation, is using Trinbagonian expertise to augment training for local carpenters in building hurricanresilient housing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about our work, or to find out how you can help, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter @habitattnt or email contactus@habitat-tt.org

More than 30 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly took an important step in promoting the idea that everyone deserves a decent place to live by declaring that the first Monday in October would be World Habitat Day. On Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago joins with our partners and affiliates around the world to rededicate ourselves to recognizing the basic right of everyone to adequate shelter.

The situation is dire, especially for the families of people with disabilities, the LGBTQ communities and people living with HIV & AIDS. This is why we, at Habitat Trinidad-Tobago, have launched a nationwide survey and petition to change the policies and legislation that make it impossible for the most vulnerable residents to find decent and affordable housing. Throughout October – Habitat Month – we will bring this issue to national attention.

Habitat for Humanity is working to improve access to affordable housing and land tenure for persons with disabilities in Trinidad and Tobago.  We ask the Minister of Housing to allow disabled landowners to apply for special assistance for housing, and provide emergency housing for those evicted because of their gender or HIV status. Please share/promote this PETITION LINK: https://chn.ge/2wJIuY7

 

We are also trying to find out about the experiences of members of vulnerable groups in accessing housing.  Please share and promote this SURVEY LINK:  https://goo.gl/forms/5A77aq1c1PXn3CH62
Our Advocacy Build is constructing a home for Andy, a Deaf resident of Princes Town; everyone is invited to join us on Saturday 13 October from 9am, when a gathering of prominent and influential leaders from government and the diplomatic corps, business and academia, the arts and civil society to help andy move into a safe, stable and familiar environment where he can live independently.

(Habitat Trinidad-Tobago is working in collaboration with the Caribbean Policy Development (NGO) Centre to improve access to Housing and Land Tenure for Vulnerable Groups – the Disabled, People living with HIV/AIDS and the Gender Communities.)

 

We ask our supporters to come together as one country to declare that:

• Every one of us deserves the opportunity for a better future.
• A decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health and success that might have been part of a family’s life for years, and in many cases for generations.

 

Seventy-five percent of people in the world lack proper documentation for the land on which they live. Further, in Trinidad and Tobago, one in 4 families struggle to meet their rental commitments, often sacrificing good nutrition and medication or health care in order to keep a roof over their heads. Without land, there can be no housing, and housing is the key to stability and opportunity.  In 2016, Trinidad and Tobago joined over 150 governments to agree to the New Urban Agenda as a global framework highlighting the need for urban policies to emphasize housing, focus on secure tenure and prioritize community-led development, and we must ensure governments are held accountable to their commitments.

To learn more, visit  https://www.habitat-tt.org/what-are-we-doing-now/

Advocacy Build Homeowner Andy, stands in front of a giant credit card promoting Habitat's online donation facility at habitat-tt.org/donate-nowAndy will be the Homeowner for Habitat’s Annual Advocacy Build. This year, Habitat is working in collaboration with the Caribbean Policy Development (NGO) Centre to improve access to Housing and Land Tenure for Vulnerable Groups – the Disabled, People living with HIV/AIDS and the Gender Communities. We invite you to to join leaders of business, academia and government on October 13 at a special build project at Andy’s new home in Princes Town. Andy is deaf, his co-applicant Michael helped with the interview.

Andy was eight years old and Michael was five when they met. Michael’s family opened a bookstore in Princes Town and there was a games arcade next door which Andy frequented. The boys began hanging out together and their friendship was born.

Andy was an only child to his parents; his father was a mason by trade and his mother was a housewife. His home life was challenging, and as his parents passed away he spent more and more time in town at the bookstore. The owners would try to provide meals while he hung out with the staff and tried to help by moving boxes of stock. Later, a neighbour stepped in and assisted him with getting access to the disability grant on which he lives presently.

When asked why he chose to get so intimately involved in Andy’s personal affairs, Michael said that he was approached for asssitance by one of Andy’s relatives – she wanted to get the property deed transferred from his mother’s name. Apparently there were several family members at that time trying to get Andy to sign a document that would make them the owners of the land. Michael said he found that to be wrong and he could not stand by and see that injustice done to someone he had known for almost all his life.  The aunt who helped get the deed had intended to build him a small house with her own money; however she fell ill and had to use the money for her own care.

Asked why Habitat Trinidad and Tobago should assist Andy, Michael said that he knows him personally and he knows that he is a good person, he thinks it will be a blessing for him to own his own home especially when none of his relatives thought he could. He is very happy that an organization like Habitat TnT is available to bring hope to those who need it.

Do you believe that everyone deserves a safe, decent and affordable place to call home?
Then sign here! https://chn.ge/2wJIuY7

Have you experienced discrimination in housing because of a disability, your gender or your HIV status?
Then click here! https://goo.gl/forms/zby4iSUHNV7WtNqy2

 

 

Logos: Habitat Trinidad-Tobago, the European Union, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre

Collage of female faces of various ages, all holding certificates from the Volunteer Orientation in August 2018

 

Thirteen new volunteers attended our first Orientation for the new year, giving up their day off to learn how to put their time, talent and treasure to work with our Homeowners.

They will be assigned to outreach programmes, corporate meetings, in-office support and local or Global Village Builds.  THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SERVICE!

 

Southern Sales & Service Co. Ltd has joined the Habitat family! National Director Jennifer Massiah welcomed Brian Mohammed from the Lease & Rental Division to our San Juan Office, where he presented a cheque for TT$50,000 to contribute to positive change within our national community. Corporate support of this nature is critical to the sustainability of the Habitat programme.
 
Southern Sales understands that safe and affordable housing is the best way to break the vicious cycle of poverty in our country. An investment in Habitat is not a Band-Aid solution to poverty; it is a gateway to change that lasts for generations. Families that used to depend on social services are now savers and taxpayers and educated consumers, contributing to the economic base of their communities.
 
#habitatforhumanity #impact #sustainability #socialbusiness
Southern Sales & Service Co. Ltd has joined the Habitat family! National Director Jennifer Massiah welcomed Brian Mohammed from the Lease & Rental Division to our San Juan Office, where he presented a cheque for TT$50,000 to contribute to positive change within our national community.  Southern Sales understands that safe and affordable housing is the best way to break the vicious cycle of poverty in our country. An investment in Habitat is not a Band-Aid solution to poverty; it is a gateway to change that lasts for generations. Families that used to depend on social services are now savers and taxpayers and educated consumers, contributing to the economic base of their communities.  #habitatforhumanity #impact #sustainability #socialbusiness

Southern Sales & Service Co. Ltd has joined the Habitat family! National Director Jennifer Massiah welcomed Brian Mohammed from the Lease & Rental Division to our San Juan Office, where he presented a cheque for TT$50,000 to contribute to positive change within our national community.

Everyone deserves a decent place to Live! Housing Access & Land Tenure Survey for Vulnerable Groups - Disabled, persons living with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQIA communities. Email habitattt@habitat-tt.org or contactus@habitat-tt.org. Survey available at https://goo.gl/forms/u8QkdeAnUlC6JcM93

Habitat’s Housing and Land Access Advocacy continues with focus group meetings for the disabled, those living with HIV AIDS and the LGBTQIA communities in Trinidad and Tobago.  We are working with NGOs in your community to fight discrimination in accessing public and private housing, in rental, mortgage or informal arrangments.

If you have experienced discrimination, please share your story with us!

Confidential Survey   https://goo.gl/forms/u8QkdeAnUlC6JcM93

Call or WhatsApp to book a focus group meeting with your community   +18687024663

Email contactus@habitat-tt.org to find out how you can do more!

 

 

Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to live. Help us!