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Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh’s inaugural ‘Friendship Build’ event declared a success

Ten homes handed over to low-income families in Srimangal, Sylhet


web_story_photo_7dec12.jpgVolunteers, staff and home partners at the end of a successful Friendship Build.

DHAKA, 7 December 2012: Today, ten homes were handed over to families from Doluchara village, Srimangal, on the last day of Friendship Build, Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh’s first large-scale volunteer building event.

Seventy-six international volunteers, from the United States, New Zealand, Australia, China, Cambodia, Philippines and Malaysia, took part in dedication ceremonies with the Doluchara community, wrapping up the week-long build event. The ten completed brick houses are part of a major community development project that also includes tube wells, roads, rain water catchment and draining systems.

Bikrom Debbarma, 47, Doluchara resident, husband and father to three young girls, said: “This brick house built during Friendship Build will take away my tensions about how to shelter my family safely and allow me to dream of a better future for my daughters.”

John Armstrong, Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh national director, said: “These volunteers have helped us raise money and shine a spotlight on the substandard housing situation in Bangladesh, as well as physically helping to build homes and change lives in Doluchara.”

It is estimated that 80 percent of Bangladesh’s population live in inadequate shelter.

Doluchara village is home to members of the Tripura community, a small minority group within Bangladesh, and many residents live in dilapidated mud homes that are health and security hazards.

Friendship Build started with a welcome ceremony on Sunday 2 December, which involved a colorful cultural show. Guests of honor included Mohammad Ashfaqul Chowdhury, Srimangal’s upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and Md. Ashikuzzaman, Srimangal upazila’s social services officer and Union Chairman.

Friendship Build signals the culmination of Habitat for Humanity’s three South Asia ‘Big Build’ events for 2012. Earlier this year, similar builds were held in Sri Lanka and Nepal. In 2013 Habitat for Humanity is organizing the Mekong Big Builds in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh is currently celebrating the milestone of having helped 3,000 families since it started in 1999, and is now planning to support a further 4,000 families by 2014. This Friendship Build will play an important part in helping to achieve this goal.

Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh collaborates with a variety of stakeholders, both local and international, to secure funding and volunteers, and with local partners to implement programs.