Big Island of Hawaii (Kailua-Kona)
Spend a week on the Big Island of Hawaii and help an American family construct a decent place to live. What better way to shake off those winter cobwebs than to soak up the warm breezes of the tropics!
Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living in the country and one of the lowest rates of homeownership. With the average cost of a home at US$375,000 and the average rent at US$1,500, the need for affordable housing is dire.
Come help build a home. No construction experience is needed – just an open mind and an open heart.
About the Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is the youngest island in the Hawaiian chain and by far the biggest (4,028-square-miles), providing a vast canvas of environments to discover a variety of unrivaled natural wonders. This is the home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kilauea), the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet (Mauna Kea), the most massive mountain in the world (Mauna Loa) and the largest park in the state (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park). All but two of the world’s climate zones generate everything from lush rain forests to volcanic deserts, snow-capped mountaintops to beautiful black sand beaches.
The main economies on the island are agriculture and tourism, with tourism centered around the Kohala resorts and the town of Kailua-Kona, both on the west side of the island. An ethnically-diverse population consisting of native Hawaiians, Japanese, Micronesians, Filipinos, Portuguese, and Caucasians provide a rich cultural environment.
The median income across the area is US$55,300, and over 16 percent of families live at levels below the poverty line. Among single-parent families, over 32 percent live below the poverty line. The median age is 40-45 years. Homelessness remains a reality for a considerable number of individuals and families in the County of Hawaii, and has been increasing at a rate of 6 percent per year. In some areas, financial hardship is compounded by the need to commute long distances to access employment.
The median house price in West Hawaii is US$375,000, which is not affordable to most of the local workforce. Moreover, even if a family could afford a market-priced home, escalating energy costs make it financially unsustainable in the longer term.
In the most rural areas, almost 20 percent of the dwellings listed by the Community Development Corporation in a recent survey consist of tents, yurts, lava tubes and cargo containers.
About Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii
The mission of Habitat West Hawaii is to empower families and build community and hope through home ownership. We have an ongoing relationship with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, through which we receive a variety of leasehold property, operating grants and construction loans. By 2014, we hope to have in place an outreach program for veterans via The Veterans Administration.
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii, please visit: www.habitatwesthawaii.org
Saturday, April 5: Arrive at Keahole airport; greeted by Team Leader; travel to lodging, team introduction, meeting, and dinner.
Sunday, April 6: Free day; recreational and/or cultural activities
Monday, April 7: Orientation by HFH West Hawaii; Work day
Tuesday, April 8: Work day
Wednesday, April 9: Half-day work day , half-day cultural activities
Thursday, April 10: Work day
Friday, April 11: Work day; farewell lunch or dinner
Saturday, April 12: Work half day and/or additional time for local recreational/cultural activities.
Sunday, April 13: Depart from Keahole airport
* Standard itinerary is subject to change, depending on weather, urgency of different aspects of the build situation, and needs at the time.
For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.
Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.
Candy Gallup is a retired teacher who grew up overseas and has had the travel bug ever since. She has participated in Global Village trips in Bali, Mongolia and Vietnam, and looks forward to leading a diverse team to the Aloha State. Contact Candy at firstname.lastname@example.org