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Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh’s First Open Build Draws Over 50 Volunteers

Local And Expatriate Volunteers Help In Three New Constructions And Two House Renovations

KALIGANJ, 23rd December 2009: Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh recently organized its first Open Build which attracted more than 50 local and international volunteers based in Bangladesh.


Local and expatriate volunteers tried their hand at a variety of tasks; (bottom right) Forkhan Uddin with Shakil, son of home partner Ruby Akhter.

The build in Kaliganj district, northeast of the capital Dhaka, was held to mark the United Nations’ International Volunteer Day on 5th December.

During the one-day build, curious adults and children alike thronged the build site to watch the volunteers at work. Divided into four teams, the volunteers dug the foundation for three new homes and renovated two houses by repairing floors and extending verandas.

Volunteer Jeanie Manibusan said: “I really loved how the community came together and the children of the village tried to find a way to become part of the project. It really made me happy to meet the family that would benefit from the build.”

The home partners did their part to encourage the volunteers. Shakil, son of home partner Ruby Akhter, repeated told HFH Bangladesh’s staff member Forkhan Uddin, “aktu jiran (please rest for a while)”. Seeing Shakil’s smiling face, Forkhan was motivated to work harder.

Although the interaction between volunteers and Habitat home partners was for a day, the encounter could have a future impact. Volunteer Sarah Goulding remarked: “A woman and her child are being assisted to build a house, which will be a life-changing event for them. I think the community also benefited from seeing foreigners taking the time to help out.”