From the editors -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

From the editors


Welcome to the Forum. After a one-year hiatus, we are pleased to return to you with a new lineup of interesting topics, a new online home and a new mission statement.

For the past five years, the purpose of the Forum has been to explore issues critical to Habitat for Humanity as we implemented a new strategic plan. We presented innovative practices and new ways of operating that challenged our traditional models. The focus was on Habitat: our brand, our best practices and the issues we struggle with as a Christian organization committed to housing. Our readership has been the Habitat family: HFH national organizations, U.S. affiliates and HFHI staff.

Habitat readers are still a priority. However, the new mission statement broadens our audience to include stakeholders and partners who are also concerned with the issues surrounding housing and poverty. In addition to our focus on Habitat, we will reach out to others who have different perspectives and who are invested in building a better world and a better future for the millions of people trapped in the cycle of poverty. In order to make the Forum more accessible, we are moving the online version to Habitat.org. Please send the link to anyone you think will be interested and inspired.

We are particularly proud that the first issue under the banner of our new mission statement focuses on women. As donors and as homeowners, women have been our critical partners since the first Habitat brick was laid. Although we know this to be true, we have not yet as an organization explored what that involvement should mean to Habitat for Humanity’s global programming. The articles in this issue provide a brief glimpse into some of the programs throughout the ministry that pay particular attention to women’s issues.

To help track these efforts systematically and share best practices, The Forum will sponsor a survey to collect data on the number of women-headed households that have received loans, paid off mortgages, participated in sweat equity and rejoiced in having a decent, secure place for their children to sleep at night.

We will report the results in the final issue of the Forum this year, scheduled for publication in November. Also, we will continue to explore women’s issues as they relate to two other topics planned for this year: program sustainability and economic development.

We are excited about the new direction, the topics in our lineup and our new online home. Please let us know your thoughts, ideas for articles or responses to any of the ideas presented in this issue by e-mailing us at TheForum@Habitat.org.

In Partnership,
Karan Kennedy
Director of international projects, HFHI

Jennifer Lindsey
Senior director of international communications, HFHI