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Finding hope -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Finding hope



In the village of Mahitsy, Habitat for Humanity Madagascar has built 140 homes with families in need. Razanajaona Olga Harinosy lives with her husband and their three children in an immaculate, two-room house overlooking the village’s main dirt thoroughfare.

While her husband works in the village as a mason and their daughters attend school, she tends to their 3-year-old son, Rahajarivola Tsiferaniaina Fleurison. “This is very different from where we were before,” says Harinosy, recalling the insecurity of a run-down rented house. “We feel very independent now. We have hope.”

Habitat Madagascar has been working in partnership with local community-based organizations since 1999 and has built more than 1,000 homes in this island nation off the eastern coast of Africa.

Habitat’s program is growing exponentially here, doubling house production each year. The need, though, remains staggering. More than 70 percent of Malagasies live below the poverty level, and nearly half survive on the equivalent of US$1 a day. In addition to stepping up building, Habitat Madagascar has begun helping to create a water and sanitation infrastructure that will help lift entire communities out of desperate conditions in one of the most naturally beautiful places on Earth.