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Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia receives award for its work with leprosy patients

(ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia) May 27, 2008 –Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Ethiopian National Association of People Affected by Leprosy (ENAPAL) on May 18, for the contributions by the organization’s Dessie affiliate and the South Wollo Associations. This award comes as Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia prepares for its 1,000th house celebration in June.

The award ceremony was held at the assembly hall of the ENAPAL in Addis Ababa. This ceremony marked the closing of the ninth annual assembly of ENAPAL. Among those who were in attendance was the chairman of the board for ENAELP Ato Lulseged Birhan; Ato Ahmede Mohamed, managing director of German Leprosy Association (GLA); chairpersons of Regional Branch Associations; Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia representatives; members of the executive committee for ENAPAL; as well as national and regional staff. The first Habitat homeowner in Dessie, Ato Sisay Mesele, was also present.

“We are very happy that Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia has joined us in the efforts we make to change the lives of people affected by leprosy. We should be visiting their offices and discussing how we can better strengthen our relationship to serve more leprosy patients,” said Ato Hahmed Mohamed, who also accepted an award on behalf of the German Leprosy Association at the awards ceremony.

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia started its support for people with leprosy by building a house with, Ato Sisay Mesele, like it had with other members of the community. Habitat Ethiopia continued its support for more families with the intention of reintegrating marginalized and vulnerable groups into the larger society supported by a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland.

The Municipality of Dessie provided land in different parts of the town and to date Habitat Ethiopia had built 12 houses with another 20 currently under construction. When asked what this recognition means for Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia, Kebede Abebe, the national director for the program said, “this prize showed us what we can accomplish in such a short period of time. We have managed to impact the lives of these marginalized groups. The award also tells us that with the continued support from our donors we can bring more impact at greater scale by helping people in these communities.”

About Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia
Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia (HFHE) began construction in 1993 and has since expanded to build houses in 11 communities. Most houses are in urban and semi-urban areas, within a 250 mile radius of the capital city, Addis Ababa. HFHE has attempted to integrate its operations with those of community-based organizations, in order to be more effective in its work. To date HFH Ethiopia has constructed more than 900 full houses in partnership with low-income families living in substandard houses in 11 communities in Ethiopia. HFHE’s houses vary from 22 to 36 square meters in size and are built from a number of different materials, including stabilized earth blocks, hollow concrete blocks and fired bricks. HFHE also constructs improved traditional style ‘chika’ houses, which are built mostly of wood, soil, sand and stone. These are very popular because they are the most affordable and are quick and easy to build. All houses have a latrine in a separate block and are built in such a manner that families can add further rooms in the future. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.et.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.