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Dirk Nowitzki Foundation raises funds for 17 houses for Senegal

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Abba Bodian and his family.

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Mr. Bodian in front of the house he built.

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Some members of the family of thirteen waiting for the others before eating their dinner.

In December 2009, the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation donated $20 000 to Habitat for Humanity Senegal to rehabilitate 17 houses for low income Senegalese families in Keur Mbaye Fall, a suburb of Dakar.

This has impacted directly on the quality of living for about 179 individuals. Two of the households receiving the loan were women-headed households – widows who inherited the property from their deceased husbands.

Dirk Nowitzki, well-known basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks in the US, is a member of Basketball without Borders – a group of professional basketball players. The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation raises funds to assist projects especially for children in Africa.

Habitat for Humanity, in collaboration with the Foundation, provided grants of about $1,122 to 17 beneficiaries to improve their houses. The families purchased the construction materials themselves. The grant is seed capital which can be reimbursed at $25 a month over four years by each beneficiary. The staff of Habitat for Humanity provided technical and managerial assistance to the families. The reimbursements are deposited in a special bank account which is used to serve other families in need of secured, safe and decent houses in the community of Keur Mbaye Fall.

In order to reduce the cost of labor, the National Office in collaboration with the Benjamin Franklin International School of Barcelona and the International School of Dakar organized voluntary sweat equity for a week and built six additional rooms for six of the beneficiaries. During this week the team worked for a total of 990 man-hours.

“We are thirteen people in my family. Besides my wife and my son Abdoulaye, there are ten other family members living with me presently,” says Abba Bodian, one of the beneficiaries and a mechanic in a local mill.

Abba’s son, Abdoulaye, has finished vocational training and is doing an internship in one of the hotels in town.

“We pray that he gets employed. He will help us as I soon go into retirement.” Abba is building the additional rooms of his house himself with the loan he received from Habitat.

“I’m glad to have a house, but it is yet to be a home. The bedrooms and the livingroom is not yet furnished,” says Abba. He maintains the biggest challenge for the family is space management.

One of my brothers’ wives will be staying with us to deliver a baby and we expect she shall be here for a while before she returns to the village. That is why I want to add an additional room. My house is my only asset. I dream to complete it and it will serve as a capital asset for the family for the future.”

See what the Benjamin Franklin International School of Barcelona experienced on their Global Village trip to Keur Mbaye Fall.