GUANGDONG AND POHNPEI, 28th November 2005: Two grants from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) will help build 24 homes in Guangdong, China, and renovate five houses in Federated States of Micronesia.
LCIF is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, a worldwide voluntary service club organization. The grants mark the first time LCIF has funded projects in China and Federated States of Micronesia.
In China, the US$32,000 grant will allow Habitat for Humanity Guangdong, working with Guangdong Lions Club, District 381 and other groups to renovate 24 homes for elderly people with leprosy and other disabilities in Chagen Leprosy Rehabilitation Village in the city of Huazhou.
The LCIF funds will be matched locally by 12.5%, or nearly US$11,000, bringing the project total to more than US$43,000.
At the moment, the residents of Chagen live in dilapidated one-room houses. Most of the roofs leak, windows are broken and there is a lack of sanitation facilities.
The 24 houses to be built be built with the LCIF funding will be two-person homes with wheelchair access and modern bathroom and toilet facilities. The build is scheduled to take place January through April 2006.
“We are excited to have the full support of the new Lions Club District 381 in Guangdong province to work together to provide decent housing for those most in need,” said Matthew Williams, regional program advisor for Habitatํs Guangdong Project Office. “Chagen leprosy rehabilitation village primarily consists of elderly people who have recovered from leprosy, but have been left crippled, disfigured, and socially outcast as a result of the disease.”
“By partnering with the Lions and the LCIF, we can provide a subsidized project for a group that is really at the very bottom of society and has zero means to repay.”
“We classify this as a special project, and see it as a very complimentary part of our housing solution portfolio in addition to our main Save & Build projects.”
“We look forward to hosting many volunteer groups at this large project site as well,” Williams added.
Habitat for Humanity Federated States of Micronesia and Pohnpei Lions Club will renovate five houses for families with disabled members around the island of Pohnpei, thanks to the LCIF grant of US$48,700. The two groups will provide matching funds of about US$16,000, bringing the project total to US$62,700.
Many of the homes require roof repairs, installation of windows and doors, and extensive renovations to kitchens and bathroom facilities.
Families have to meet normal Habitat criteria including a willingness to invest hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” working on their own and other Habitat homes. Physically impaired or disabled homepartners fulfill their sweat equity requirement by be working on lighter activities during the construction period.
These are the latest grants to be awarded to applicants from the Asia-Pacific region under a three-year global partnership between Lions Club International and Habitat for Humanity International designed to build 500 low-cost homes for families living with serious physical and mental disabilities.
Since June 2000, Lions Clubs International has provided grants for building 156 homes in Australia, India, New Zealand, the Philippines South Korea and Vanuatu, plus other homes in North and South America, Africa and Europe. Three projects have previously been financed in South Korea and two in the Philippines .
As the world’s largest service club organization, Lions Clubs International has 46,000 clubs serving 193 countries and geographical areas; providing global reach with local impact. Founded in 1917, Lions Clubs International – recognized worldwide for its service to the blind and visually impaired – also dedicates itself to helping those less fortunate in communities around the world
In 2002-03, Lions Clubs International’s nearly 1.4 million members worldwide donated an estimated 65 million hours and an estimated US$667 million. The average number of hours donated per club worldwide is estimated to be nearly 1,500. In the US and its affiliate countries, Lions Clubs members donated an estimated 12 million hours and an estimated US$167 million.In 2002-03, Lions Clubs International’s nearly 1.4 million members worldwide donated an estimated 65 million hours and an estimated US$667 million. The average number of hours donated per club worldwide is estimated to be nearly 1,500. In the US and its affiliate countries, Lions Clubs members donated an estimated 12 million hours and an estimated US$167 million.