Global Resource Development team meets in the land of lakes and volcanoes
January 29, 2011
Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua hosted the Biannual Resource Development Global Conference, held in Managua. Nearly 100 representatives from regional Habitat offices around the world attended.
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (January 29, 2011) – Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua recently hosted the Biannual Resource Development Global Conference, this year held in Managua from January 18-21. A total of 94 representatives from Habitat offices each region of the world attended the conference, the logistics of which were facilitated by Habitat Nicaragua.
The conference included a program of events that allowed participants to meet colleagues from different countries, exchange experiences, build friendships and learn more about Habitat for Humanity’s work in Nicaragua.
The main topic of this year’s Global Resource Development Meeting was the organization’s upcoming global campaign. Members of Habitat’s international headquarters in Atlanta gave an in-depth view of the content and purpose of each of the campaign’s funds, so that participants could begin to understand in detail the sectors addressed and align their products to client’s needs.
As part of the conference, Habitat for Humanity International representative Lisa Heintz organized a field visit to the community of La Gallina. The visit was a lesson in the recognition of poverty indicators. Participants had the chance to compare these indicators with the reality of the community through interaction with its residents, listening to their stories and learning about their context, and understanding the dramatic change brought about by Habitat’s housing interventions. This visit was not just for the benefit of the participants, but also it brought hope to families who have not yet been served. The visit included a trip to an adobe block production plant, where some of the participants were invited to participate in the production process. It was a very rewarding experience for the community to see Habitat staff members roll up their sleeves and lend a hand.
Back at the conference room, Vittoria Penalba, Resource Development Manager for Habitat Nicaragua presented a small project proposal addressing the water and sanitation issues in La Gallina to the audience as potential individual donors. The response was overwhelming. By the end of the day roughly US$16,000 had been raised, though the original proposal had only requested US$5,000 for the rehabilitation of a community well.
The remaining funds will be directed toward the project, “Habitat Improvement in the Community of La Gallina.” You can donate to this project online or by sending a check to Habitat for Humanity International at 121 Habitat Street Americus, GA 31709-3498 USA. Please indicate “Project # NI11508” on the check or online donation page.
Global Resource Development Meetings are a relatively new trend in Habitat for Humanity. This biannual event began in Costa Rica two years ago when global Resource Development staff perceived the need of engaging regional offices in the work done abroad. Through this initiative, the organization intended to promote global partnerships, team work, new knowledge and the reaffirmation of their commitment to Habitat’s mission.
Mark Crozet, Senior VP of Resource Development for Habitat International, shared his thoughts on the global conference in Nicaragua. “Choosing Nicaragua as a host country was a tough decision. However, Nicaragua has a strong program and is strategically located only a few hours flight from the United States. This proximity allowed many fundraisers to see the work that Habitat does abroad for the first time.”
Mr. Crozet added, “Fundraising is like any sales job, you cannot sell something if you don’t touch it; if you don’t see it.” Mr. Crozet found the innovative construction system and the community engagement in the building process of the La Gallina community an unexpected surprise.
After the 2011 Global Resource Development Meeting: What’s next?
All participants and Habitat colleagues considered the 2011 conference to be a highly inspirational event.
In the host country, results are already apparent.
Mark Crozet expressed, “I am impressed with the Habitat Nicaragua program. We did not plan this to happen, but I think a lot of my team members will encourage their donors and prospects to help this program now that they are confident with the work being done in Nicaragua. I definitely believe this year’s mission has been accomplished.”
“This was a great opportunity to exchange ideas, new concepts, and bring together the members of our organization for networking,” said Frank Matus-Aguirre, National Director for Habitat Nicaragua, “This was also a great opportunity to renew our commitment and shared the love of Jesus. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in [the region]; I am sure that by building strong partnerships and working together in a team effort we will be able to accomplish our goal.”
About Habitat for Humanity Latin America and the Caribbean
Habitat for Humanity first opened its doors in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in 1979, and has since helped more than 100,000 low-income families to access adequate housing in the region. Headquartered in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Latin America and Caribbean regional office coordinates the efforts of 16 national organizations, as well as unique partnerships throughout the region. For more information, visit habitatlatino.org.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Latin America and the Caribbean.