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Big swim for Habitat for Humanity


On August 28, 2010, Emma Pearson swam across Lake Geneva and raised over $4,700 to support Habitat’s work in Madagascar. Adding this to the $2,100 she had raised two years before for completing a 101-kilometer run in the Sahara with her father for his 70th birthday. Emma outreached the target of $6,000 she set for herself. This amount is enough to build three houses in Madagascar, offering three families a decent place to raise their children.

“The day dawned windy, wet and chilly, quite unseasonal, indeed rather autumnal. As we drove into Vevey I sensed a distinct possibility that the race could be cancelled, and realized that I would be disappointed if it were. I felt about as ready as I was ever going to be – physically and mentally. As I started, I visualized working in Madagascar and the arrival point in Vevey”, Emma remembers at the end of the competition. Emma swam the 8.4 kilometer crossing of Lake Geneva in 3 hours 9 minutes.

Emma has been a sound supporter of Habitat for Humanity since 2004, when she heard about the organization at a conference she attended. She participated in the 2005 Women Build in Armenia and led a trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2007 as a birthday present to herself. Emma’s family and best friends joined at that time as well. In support of Habitat Kyrgyzstan, Emma and her husband, Mike, climbed Mont Blanc, doing the Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc and raised over $4,000 to build a full house in Kyrgyzstan.

In 2011, Emma will lead a team of family and friends to Madagascar where inadequate housing is rife and where 50 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity’s work in Madagascar, you can read here.

What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Europe and Central Asia in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

• Visit our donations page to support projects in Europe and Central Asia.
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in Europe and Central Asia.

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