News

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.

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/

 

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!

 

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!

 

 

“We must all learn not only to not fear change, but to embrace it enthusiastically and, perhaps even more important, encourage and drive it”  Tony Hsieh

 

“The list of potential families requiring our services are increasing beyond our ability to address. The donor pool is rapidly declining and charity budgets are being sliced in painful measures. We also note that the volunteer offers are now increasing beyond our ability to engage. The question then is in the light of such a climate, should we shelve our services temporarily? Though tempting this though is our response refuses to be one of a defeatist mentality. Hence, our plans are even more ambitious than before. Rooted in a belief system that says always faith guides our actions and God blesses our endeavor;, we stay resolutely focused on the increasing needs in our society. We wish to remain a beacon of hope to the hopeless and a ray of light in a dimming environment. We continue to make the clarion call to all of our supporters to stick with us for we need you more than ever. To our donors, if you do not support us, can you imagine the many families who would disintegrate into the depths of greater despair?”  Jennifer Massiah, National Director.

Habitat Trinidad-Tobago National Director Report FY18

 

“We were also fortunate this year to gain the support of Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, as Patron of Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago.  We are deeply grateful for Her Excellency’s gracious consideration and know that her patronage and support will elevate the cause of Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago in the national landscape and help with our engagement of civil society and individuals alike.”  Derwin Howell, Chairman

Habitat Trinidad-Tobago Chairman Report FY18

 

All this month, we at Habitat Trinidad and Tobago will be looking back at our work over the last 21 years.  We are proud and grateful that we can are helping homeowners and their families all over the country to renovate, repair or build decent shelters within their means.  From Habitat Street in Guaico to Canada Lane in Tobago, we are honoured to have had a small part to play in their lives!

We’d like to do more, and we can with your help!  Please, tell us how you feel about our work and our impact in Trinidad and Tobago; share your ideas on how we can do more to support strong, stable and self-reliant families!

 

 

www.facebook.com/habitattnt

Habitat Trinidad and Tobago is pleased to share our latest Annual Report with you. Download from here Shelter Report 2017(Final)

Featured articles:

  • National Lotteries Control Board supports Pearl in her dream for a home of her own
  • Preventing landslides in Tobago
  • Celebrating 20 years of national service

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

Our online donation page makes it easy to support our work and homeowners like Avalon and Nayla.

 

They built their home in South Trinidad with the help of local and international volunteers; the financial contributions from individuals and companies provided the seed money for the construction process.  The family paid back the cost of the home by small monthly instalments and they are now happy with their two children in their own home!

 

Please give generously!  www.habitat-tt.org/donate-now

Over the last several days, Hurricane Irma and associated rainfall have caused unprecedented severe flooding and wind damage in several Caribbean islands, forcing emergency evacuations and damaging many homes in communities we serve.

Sadly, this is not the first time that CARICOM has faced this kind of disaster, and we as a regional community are reacting!

FAMILIES NEED YOUR HELP MORE THAN EVER NOW.

www.habitat-tt.org/donate-now is our online donation page.  

Give today and your donation will be dedicated to our efforts in the affected islands. Please don’t wait — help us turn this setback into a step forward for families in need with your generous gift.

 

Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago has responded to natural disasters here and abroad for over 20 years, working in close partnership with families and local organizations during what is often the most difficult time in their lives.

YOUR SUPPORT TODAY will help with what will undoubtedly be a long-term recovery, and unfortunately, the emergency phase is just one of many that these families have to withstand. Stand with us and help these families through a long recovery. With your help, we will rebuild countless communities.

These families are counting on us. Please, make a generous donation today and help these families receive the decent and stable shelter they need.

Thank you for your continued support of Habitat Trinidad & Tobago and the people affected by Caribbean hurricanes.

 

If you wish to help with materials or professional services to support the relief and recovery efforts, please contact the National Director at 674-2031 or 742-4663 or email us at contactus@habitat-tt.org

 

Habitat Trinidad-Tobago shall make every effort to use funds as designated; nevertheless, under the direction of the Board of Directors, Habitat Trinidad and Tobago retains complete control over the use and distribution of donated funds in furtherance of its mission.

What a wonderful day!   Dozens of women descended on Sangre Grande on October 28th to paint Kathy’s home!   You can see the first photos here on our Facebook Page, but here’s a teaser…..

 

When WOMEN support each other INCREDIBLE THINGS happen!

 

The High Commissioner took a break to update Kathy and her husband Ellery on the day’s progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BACKGROUND

 

Women Build 2017 will help our future Homeowner, Kathy, provide a safe, stable and familiar environment for her family to live independently and in security.  Led by Her Excellency, Mrs. Carla Hogan Rufelds, High Commissioner of Canada to Trinidad and Tobago, prominent and influential women leaders from every sector will come together on several work days throughout the entire month of October, with the intention of handing over the keys to a finished home for Kathy.  With the help of the diplomatic corps, business, government, academia, the arts and civil society, Kathy and her husband will soon move into a safe, decent and stable home.  Habitat Trinidad and Tobago is encouraging women leaders to join hearts and hands to make a difference and transmit a positive message of hope and empowerment to the most vulnerable in our society. We hope that our women leaders will add their bit as we transform society through partnerships and solidarity.

 

Please register for the Women Build here

Please download the Habitat Trinidad-Tobago Volunteer Handbook – Women Build 2017

Read More

What inspired us, even in the rough times? Our children and our dreams for giving them a great life!

 

We live in Rio Claro in south Trinidad, and we heard about Habitat at a community meeting about 14 years ago.  We have two children now – our daughter was just five at the time we applied, now 19 and our “lagniappe” our son, who is 13 years old now.  We loved the fact that it provides affordable housing.  The banking system didn’t really work for us as a young family now starting out, but the Habitat formula gave us a chance to stand on our feet and get away from renting.

We broke ground and built in 3 months, within budget, and I am not a contractor by trade.  I am handy with my hands, and I was able to find ways to make the process work.  I made an arrangement to act as the site supervisor for my home, eliminating the technical charges and committing to managing the construction budget myself.  That way, our overall costs came down and I was able to put my sweat equity hours to good use, managing the construction of my home and learning useful skills at the same time.

When the Global Village (foreign volunteer) teams came to Trinidad, I would use three or four persons on my project, freeing up the rest of the group to focus on other Habitat homes in the Rio Claro area.  I had a great experience working with the foreign teams; they work very, VERY hard, so I took full advantage of the blessing.

We had some rough times over the years, but we committed to paying off.  Habitat was very understanding, and this made it easier in a way to meet our obligations to Habitat.  Nayla especially pushed that we always pay, because we knew that the money was going to help other families to see their way.

Don’t listen to the second-hand news on the block; take the time to come to Habitat, and take the time to understand exactly what Habitat does, and how YOUR effort is multiplied by working within the Habitat process.

A home is safety, and security, but more than that, it’s the love!

 

 

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