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The birth of a community

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The Old Mowire village in ruins

 

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The new Mowire community

 

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Delta volunteers work hand in hand with homeowner, HFH volunteers and community

Mowire, a small village near Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana is reborn. Abandoned more than fifty years ago due to constant raids by bandits, the old village of Mowire is no more except for a few crumbling walls overrun by the surrounding forest. Now as a mirror image of Ghana’s 50 years of independence, descendants of old Mowire are now slowly returning to a site provided by their chief. After building 25 houses, the budding village partnered with Habitat for Humanity Ghana to help them build more homes for the returning families.

Ninety homes, one well, countless more families in need of housing, and government commitment to provide five boreholes later, it was time to bring in some reinforcements… in the shape of forty volunteers from Delta Airlines. Out of two hundred volunteers who applied online to participate at the build, forty were selected by the airline.

‘Delta Force for Global Good’ has chosen Habitat for Humanity as the first of several partners to collaborate with globally. On the owings of its inaugural flight to South Africa in December 2006, forty Delta volunteers dedicated a week to build 4 houses with families in need in Katlehong, a township near Johannesburg.

As a mark of its successful partnership with Habitat and its increasing commitment to the plight of families in need of decent homes, Delta has increased its donation from $60,000 in South Africa to $100,000 in Ghana to enable Habitat for Humanity to serve more families and truly impact a community in a significant way.

The Ghana donation will help house 40 families in need of affordable housing solutions in the Mowire village. During the 4-day build this past June, Delta volunteers worked on eight houses selected to help launch the project. Two homes were dedicated at the end of the week; with the other six to be completed shortly thereafter.

During the build, Barry Matthews, one of four Delta team leaders said, “We are building not just a house, but a home. This is where families form, care for each other and grow. We are not forced to be here, we want to help out. This is a priceless experience! It’s really a win, win, win situation – the homeowner wins, Delta wins, and we, the employees win; we’ve made new friends while doing something truly worthwhile. For me, a Habitat for Humanity build is the ultimate obstacle course.”

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Tina Willmore, a Delta volunteer and Yaa Fobi, a new Habitat homeowner

 

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From left) The Deputy Chief and his entourage, Mark Krolick, Delta Marketing and Emmanuel Kwaa, HFH Ghana National Director at the house dedication ceremony

The Deputy Chief of Mowire who welcomed the volunteers on their first build day, emphasized how the work of volunteers inspires the community to work harder. “The community learns that if you help yourself, you get help, and this really gets the community to work even harder at improving their lives and that of their children.” This point was proved by the community. Once they saw how hard the volunteers worked, they accepted them completely and opened their hearts to them even though most could not speak English. But the language of the heart can transcend the spoken word.

The uniqueness of Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer build week is that volunteers are truly touched by what they see, and they often develop lasting relationships with the community. They never fail to want to give more and carry on those friendships even after the build. In South Africa, the volunteers collected funds to purchase a brick making machine, which will help build more houses and provide much needed income for the community.

‘Delta Force for Global Good’ will be building with Habitat in Mumbai, India in November this year. In 2008, it is hoped that more teams will want to come and build in Africa and the Middle East.