By Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International CEO
We often talk about one of the strengths of Habitat for Humanity as the ability to build bridges. I met Tuesday with a number of wonderful people in Amman, Jordan, who are excited about our work and who speak so eloquently about the meaning and value of having a home.
Last year, I spoke to the largest chapter of the Young Presidents Organization in the United States, and I was delighted to talk with members of the same organization in Jordan. We had a wonderful discussion about opportunities to partner in Jordan and in the region. In addition to some fundraising calls, I also paid a visit to the U.S. ambassador to Jordan and the head of the USAID mission here.
Tuesday evening, I spoke to an audience at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center about myths regarding affordable housing and ways we can build a shared future in a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
It was a pleasure to spend the day with the staff of Habitat Jordan. They have an innovative partnership model with local community groups, which run their own housing programs. Habitat provides training, software and financing, and the local groups manage family selection, construction and lending, with a 98-percent repayment rate. These local groups then repay the loans to Habitat, which then loans money back out again, continuing to make the most of our fund for humanity.