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Service in Lesotho on World Habitat Day

September 27th, 2010

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Mathapo Sefatsana lives in Butha-Buthe, Lesotho, with her 10-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old niece (pictured), whose mother had to go to South Africa to find work. Habitat for Humanity Lesotho helped Mathapo build a room adjacent to the original house, providing more space to live and sleep. On World Habitat Day, more than 200 volunteers will help vulnerable families like Mathapo’s to renovate their homes in the Nazareth area.—©Habitat for Humanity/Steffan Hacker

MASERU (Sept. 27, 2010) –In Lesotho, Habitat for Humanity Lesotho (HFH Lesotho) plans to celebrate World Habitat Day in partnership with World Vision and UN Habitat through a service event on October 9, 2010. HFH Lesotho has mobilized over 200 volunteers to help vulnerable families renovate their homes in the Nazareth area. At the celebration, HFH Lesotho plans to officially “hand over” more than 150 Habitat homes to orphan-headed and vulnerable families. Volunteers and HFH Lesotho staff will work hand-in-hand to refurbish six Habitat homes. Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) currently reside in these homes and will be present to partake in the day of community service. Renovation activities include: painting, plastering, gardening, tree planting, and other activities.

World Habitat Day is a day designed by the United Nations for the world to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all. It is also intended to alert the world to its collective responsibility to maintain that right for all people. Since 1985, the global community has recognized the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day in order to raise awareness of the need to improve human settlements worldwide. This is the second year that HFH Lesotho has organized such an event for World Habitat Day. Last year, over 100 volunteers demonstrated their commitment to improve the housing situation in Lesotho through similar activities. This year, HFH Lesotho plans to continue to call attention to this basic right.

HFH Lesotho is an ecumenical Christian organization that seeks to eradicate poverty housing in Lesotho. HFH Lesotho works in partnership with individuals, communities, and organizations to provide shelter for low-income families and vulnerable groups by building simple, decent, and affordable houses in addition to advocating basic human rights such as housing, property ownership, and inheritance.

HFH Lesotho often works in partnership with World Vision Lesotho, which is also a nonprofit Christian organization promoting the wellbeing of children through the alleviation of poverty.

Currently, HFH Lesotho provides homes at no cost to the most impoverished groups in Lesotho, which includes OVC. HFH Lesotho is able to transform lives through donations, which serve to provide a “hand-up,” not a “hand-out” for families struggling to improve their lives. To date, HFH Lesotho has assisted 521 families with houses, foster homes, and room additions throughout Lesotho.

In addition to building houses, HFH Lesotho advocates on behalf of vulnerable groups by disseminating information about property and inheritance rights, which empowers Basotho to protect their homes and families. To date, over 87,000 people in Lesotho have benefited from HFH Lesotho’s advocacy work.

For more information, please visit www.hfhl.org.ls.