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Habitat for Humanity volunteers built hope in Bomba do Hemeterio, Brazil

Recife, Brazil (April 1st, 2014) — It must have been disconcerting for Maria Alves da Silva, 69, to watch a group of Habitat for Humanity volunteers take apart, tile by tile, the roof of her house.

But once a week of work and home improvements had gone by, this Brazilian woman only had words of gratitude for the volunteers who, besides replacing her roof, also repaired her kitchen.

Maria Alves (center) with volunteers Tim Schnare (Canada), Charo Rojas (Paraguay), Michelle Jolson (USA) and Jevon Rodrigues (Guyana)

Like Maria, four families from the Bomba do Hemeterio neighborhood (in Recife, Brasil) opened their doors to volunteers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Canada, United States, Guyana and Paraguay, who performed masonry and construction work in their homes. The volunteers included:

Victor Cordero, former captain of Deportivo Saprissa, one of the top soccer teams in Costa Rica.
Arnoldo Iguaran, the top scorer of the Colombian national team in its history.
Jevon Rodrigues, Youth Coach of the Fruta Conquerors Football Club in Guyana.
Maria “Charo” Rojas, member of the Women’s Soccer Team at Vision Bank, Paraguay.

In addition to repairing homes, Habitat for Humanity’s “World Team” engaged with local children in soccer games and clinics. On March 28th, they participated in a closing soccer match in alliance with the Love Futbol organization.

According to Steve Little, Habitat’s Public Awareness Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, this volunteer brigade helped to build hope, by combining the cause for adequate housing with soccer.

“Around the world, soccer is a universal language. It crosses borders, brings together cultures and promotes teamwork. In our mission to provide adequate housing for all, teamwork is equally important and this event was a good example of that”, said Little.

In addition to thanking the volunteers who gave their time and effort to this project in Recife, Little expressed his gratitude to the Habitat’s national offices that supported the “World Team”, as well as those individuals and organizations who helped to make this brigade possible.

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About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people (750,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean) construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976.