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Habitat for Humanity Africa and the Middle East Celebrates the Dedication of its 50,001st House

April 24, 2008

On April 24th 2008, Habitat for Humanity Africa and the Middle East dedicated its 50,001st house in Area 49, Lilongwe, Malawi. The event was attended by Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity, the Guest of Honor the Honorable Chimuntu Banda, Minister of Transport, Public Works and Housing, Habitat for Humanity staff and partners, as well as community leaders and partner families.

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Guest of Honor the Honorable Chimuntu Banda cutting the ribbon during the dedication ceremony with Jonathan Reckford (left), HFH CEO and Matthew Maury (right), HFH Area Vice President.

 

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Alexander Chileshe (center) National Director for HFH Malawi with Jonathan Reckford and the Honorable Chimuntu Banda.

 

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Chimuntu Banda, Minister of Transport, Public Works and Housing in Malawi lays a brick during the dedication ceremony.

The celebration was preceded by three days of building, where homeowners, community members, and corporate and church volunteers worked together to build six homes in Area 49. The day began with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Guest of Honor, the Honorable Chimuntu Banda touring the project site of where 250 houses were completed in December 2007. This ceremony was followed with community members contributing to the joyous occasion, as children from Area 49 recited a poem they wrote for the event, and others honored the achievement with dances and dramatic performances.

Several people addressed the crowd in recognition of Habitat for Humanity Africa and the Middle East’s inspirational achievement. Jonathan Reckford said in his speech that HFH is committed to serving more families in need in Africa and the Middle East as well as across the globe. Habitat for Humanity’s works was evident during this memorable event in which six families were proud owners of a new house. The Guest of Honor Chimunthu Banda commended the work that Habitat for Humanity is doing in Malawi especially in the urban areas where it is working with families from squatter areas in relocating them to legal and better houses with improved water and sanitation. He went further to say that the Malawi government was committed to working with Habitat for Humanity by providing more land so that Habitat for Humanity Malawi (HFHM) can be able to serve more people.

HFHM has worked to eliminate poverty housing in the country since 1986, and has succeeded in helping provide decent, affordable housing to over 6,000 families. HFHM’s achievements have helped instill hope in the lives of the families with which it works. James Kapera, a homeowner in Area 49, said “it has been my dream for a long time to build a house for my family, but I had to wait because I couldn’t afford it. The moment I brought my family to our new home and saw the expression on their faces made me feel very happy. It was the proudest moment of my life.”