News

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/

 

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

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.

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!

 

 

“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

 

Blue, green and red flyer promoting a survey on Housing Access and Land Tenure for PwDs, Persons living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQI+ communities

Housing Access and Land Tenure Survey for Vulnerable Groups

Housing Access and Land Tenure Survey for Vulnerable Groups: PLEASE SHARE WIDELY

https://goo.gl/forms/VRjbdv5tbsfdzz7W2

Habitat Trinidad and Tobago is working to foster positive social change in the lives of persons living with HIV and AIDS, persons with disabilities and persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and/or Intersex (LGBTI).

* What are we doing? *

This survey is being conducted to capture a detailed picture of housing and shelter needs among disabled people, people living with HIV/AIDS and gender communities in Trinidad & Tobago. We will be using the findings to influence and develop local policies and services to eliminate obstacles to housing and land tenure access, and to increase the participation in the planning, implementation and monitoring of public policy around access to land and housing by organisations representing these groups. The results of the survey will be shared with Civil Society Organisations and public sector providers.

* What we are trying to measure in this survey? *

We want to identify some of the challenges that these vulnerable groups face in finding safe, decent and affordable places to live. In particular, we would like to identify barriers in accessing services, and any gaps in current service provision. This survey is completely anonymous, but we will be using the summarised information we collect to press for improvements in housing access. The survey contains questions about who you are, the housing you live in now and how you feel about access to housing in your area. We are asking lots of questions to get a detailed picture that looks at lots of different aspects of life for vulnerable groups in our country.

From the last week in March, we are sending teams to work in Dominica every six weeks. To ease the strain on the local resources, we want them to be as self-sufficient as possible, and we need YOUR help!

 

We need canned food, travel packs of laundry detergent and hygiene kits for the men and women who will be working on hurricane recovery in Dominica. Here’s a list of items for their volunteer kits:

Canned meats and fish and can openers
Crix
Individual First Aid Kits
Ladies Feminine Care Packs
Toiletries – Toothpaste, soap, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent
Torchlights and batteries
We’ll collect at various points around the country – please contactus@habitat-tt.org to arrange!

PS: If you want to volunteer, please contactus@habitat-tt.org !

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

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