Habitat works with donors such as Japan Platform, MillenniumIT as well as the government to help IDPs
Warook Sabuhan at his Habitat house (left) which he helped to build (right); Samila Faruk is happy that she can sell more goods with a shop in front of her house.
MANNAR, Sri Lanka, 16 January 2013: Warook Sabuhan lived in a Sri Lankan refugee camp for more than 20 years before he finally had his own home. Now 31, he was among 101 families in Vaddakandal village in Mannar district in the north who received core houses built by Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka. The Habitat houses were funded by Japan Plaform through HFH Japan.
For Sabuhan, his wife Jawfer Farhana, 30, their house is a haven. "Thanks to Habitat, I am able to have a peaceful and stable life."
After moving into his house in March 2012, Sabuhan turned a room into a small provisions store selling dried fish, bananas, peppers and light bulbs. He would buy fresh fish from the market, sell half of them from riding around on his bicycle and dry the remaining fish.
Now, Sabuhan is working as a railway laborer. His wife stays home to take care of their daughters, Aysha, 3, and Afiya, 1.
Other families such as Samila Faruk, 30, was able to expand her grocery business after moving into her Habitat house. Using cement blocks and corrugated metal sheeting, she built a grocery shop in front of her home.
She is elated at better business prospects with more goods for sale and more villagers checking out her shop.
Having completed 101 core houses for internally displaced people, HFH Sri Lanka is continuing to build toilets and install tube wells in Sannar village in an ongoing partnership with Japan Platform through HFH Japan.
HFH Sri Lanka is also working with other donors and the government to help IDPs in other northern districts such as Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Killinocchi. In Mullaitivu, for example, home-grown IT solutions provider MillenniumIT is funding a 51-house project.
Over in eastern Batticaloa district, Habitat is working with the government to house IDPs. Since November 2010, HFH Sri Lanka and its partners have helped to provide decent housing for more than 260 families.
HFH Sri Lanka has also constructed emergency shelters and repaired houses, and is involved in cleaning and repairing open dug wells, building toilets and installing tube wells, and assisting IDPs to secure land titles.
Habitat for Humanity began operating in Sri Lanka in 1994. Through Habitat Resource Centers, HFH Sri Lanka works with families to build decent homes. To date, Habitat has served more than 19,000 families in the country. HFH Sri Lanka also responds to disasters such as the flooding in end of 2011 and the 2004 Asian tsunami.