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Renovation On First Home Under US$62,700 Habitat-Lions Club Project In Federated States Of Micronesia

Community chips in to help put tin roof on leaking house

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Pitching in: Many willing hands were put to work on the replacement of the roof on Erlina Ionis’ house

POHNPEI, 4th April 2006: In the close-knit Pacific community of Pohnpei, the sight of someone working on a house is enough to draw all to pitch in to help. That was what happened in the project of Habitat for Humanity and its partner Pohnpei Lions Club in the Pacific islands of Federated States of Micronesia.

Erlina Ionis is among the five families with disabled members on the island of Pohnpei who will benefit from the Habitat-Lions Club project worth US$62,700.

The Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) has given a grant of US$48,700 for renovations on the homes including roof repairs, installation of windows and doors, and extensive renovations to kitchens and bathroom facilities. This grant is matched by funds of about US$16,000 from Habitat for Humanity Federated States of Micronesia (HFH FSM) and Pohnpei Lions Club.

A project unveiling ceremony was held in March where Pohnpei governor Johnny P. David was the guest of honor. Renovation works on Erlina Ionis’ house, whose roof has been leaking, have since started. Demonstrating a strong community spirit, friends, extended family members and church friends helped Erlina and her family to tear down and replace the wooden roof frame and then hammering the tin roof in place.

Bolstering their efforts were Habitat staff and Lions Club Pohnpei members, college students from the neighboring island of Yap, and skilled workers from the local A&P Construction Company.

The men continued working on the roof until night fell. Before they left, they were given baskets laden with local food by Erlina and her family in appreciation of their labor.

HFH FSM’s Koisimy Rudolph said: “A house is a community-oriented project. If you see a house being built, you need to join in and help. Extended family and church support was evident at Erlina’s home.”

Matson Guam is also donating a 40 foot container to HFH FSM which will be used to store construction tools, equipment and supplies. Matson Navigation Company is one of the leading US-flag carriers operating in the Pacific It is the principal carrier of containerized freight and automobiles between the West Coast and Hawaii, Guam and Mid-Pacific.

The Pohnpei project is part of a three-year global partnership between Lions Club International and Habitat for Humanity International to build 500 low-cost homes for families living with serious physical and mental disabilities.

Since June 2000, Lions Clubs International has provided grants for building 156 homes in Australia, India, New Zealand, the Philippines South Korea and Vanuatu, plus other homes in North and South America, Africa and Europe. Three projects have previously been financed in South Korea and two in the Philippines

As the world’s largest service club organization, Lions Clubs International has 45,000 clubs serving 197 countries and geographical areas; providing global reach with local impact. Founded in 1917, Lions Clubs International – recognized worldwide for its service to the blind and visually impaired – also dedicates itself to helping those less fortunate in communities around the world

In a recent report, it is estimated that International’s nearly 1.4 million members worldwide donated an estimated 76 million hours and an estimated US$449 million.