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Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia receives an award for its work with leprosy patients

May 26, 2008

Addis Ababa, May 26, 2008 – On May 18th, Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia (HFHE) was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Ethiopian National Association of People Affected by Leprosy (ENAPAL) in recognition of its contribution for the members of the association at Dessie Affiliate namely – South Wollo Associations for ex-leprosy patients. This award came at the right time for Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia, as they are preparing for their first milestone of its 1,000th house celebration at the end of June 2008.

The event was held at the assembly hall of the ENAPAL in Addis Ababa. This ceremony marked the closing ceremony of the ninth annual assembly of ENAPAL which ran for 3 days. The closing ceremony was preceded by the opening ceremony on the 16th May 2008. Amongst those who were in attendance was the chairman of the board for ENAELP Ato Lulseged Birhan; Ato Ahmede Mohamed, Managing Director of German Leprosy Association (GLA); chairpersons of Regional Branch Associations; Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia representatives; members of the executive committee for ENAPAL; as well as national and regional staff. The first HFHE homeowner in Dessie, Ato Sisay Mesele was also present.

Several people addressed the crowd in recognition of the awards amongst them Ato Hahmed Mohamed, Managing Director of GLA who were also honored with the same award. In his speech he said, “we are very happy that HFHE has joined us in the efforts we make to change the lives of people affected by leprosy. We should be visiting their offices and discussing how we can better strengthen our relationship to serve more leprosy patients. “

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia started its support for these groups of stigmatized people by supporting the first family, Ato Sisay Mesele, like any other member of the community. They continued their support for more families with the intention of reintegrating marginalized and vulnerable groups into the larger society supported by a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland. The Municipality of Dessie provided land in different parts of the town and to date HFHE had built 12 houses with another 20 currently under construction. When asked what this recognition means for Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia, Kebede Abebe, the National Director for the program said, “this prize showed us what we can accomplish in such a short period of time. We have managed to impact the lives of these marginalized groups and at the same time create a name for ourselves. The award also tells us that with the continued support from our donors we can bring more impact at greater scale by helping these marginalized groups of people.”

About Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia
Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia (HFHE) began construction in 1993 and has since expanded to build houses in 11 communities. Most houses are in urban and semi-urban areas, within a 250 mile radius of the capital city, Addis Ababa. HFHE has attempted to integrate its operations with those of community-based organizations, in order to be more effective in its work. To date HFH Ethiopia has constructed more than 900 full houses for low income families living in substandard houses in 11 communities in Ethiopia. HFHE’s houses vary from 22 to 36 square meters in size and are built from a number of different materials, including stabilized earth blocks, hollow concrete blocks and fired bricks. HFHE also constructs improved traditional style ‘chika’ houses, which are built mostly of wood, soil, sand and stone. These are very popular because they are the most affordable and are quick and easy to build. All houses have a latrine in a separate block and are built in such a manner that families can add further rooms in the future.

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About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. HFHI seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.

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