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Habitat for Humanity Nigeria and MTN – Working Together to Eliminate Poverty Housing

Given that Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa, with many people quickly moving into urban areas, it comes as no surprise that nearly 15 million people there are in need of improved housing. In October 2005, Habitat for Humanity Nigeria (HFHN) partnered with the MTN Foundation in Nigeria in an effort to respond to Nigeria’s growing housing needs. With the MTN Foundation’s financial support, HFHN commenced a 100-house project, also known as Phase 1, in Karu, Nassarawa State. In September 2007, HFHN completed the project and dedicated the 100th house.

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The houses sponsored by MTN

 

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Homeowners to the houses sponsored by MTN

The success of the partnership between HFHN and MTN has had a positive impact on the lives of many community members. Mr. G. Oluyemi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the MTN Habitat Estate, expressed his gratitude to both HFHN and MTN. “We are grateful to God, Habitat and MTN Foundation for actualizing this dream and transforming our lives. With this basic need of life taken care of, we can now concentrate on the other areas of necessity. We pray that Habitat continues to grow from strength to strength and make more benefit from this kind gesture,” he said.

The homeowners are equally grateful. Prior to moving into his new home, Mr. Thomas Davurak, his wife, and three children occupied a single room of a three-room building block, sharing a toilet, bath, and kitchen with two other families. Though the housing was meager and cramped, Thomas spent a large portion of his paycheck on the rent. “I pay so much every month for this very small room. I feel so choked up, I need space for my family,” he explained. His new two-room house affords him that space. In describing his feelings about his new home, Thomas exclaimed “owning a Habitat house is a dream come true! I have been dreaming of owning a genuine house that would not be demolished. Now I am happy my dream has come true!”

The collaboration between HFHN and MTN Nigeria is a testament of the good that can be achieved when different entities combine their strengths and resources in the hopes of affecting positive change. HFHN hopes to build off of the success of Phase 1 to partner with the MTN Foundation in the future. The second partnership, or Phase 2, would work to provide simple, decent homes to low income earners in Imo State.