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One step a time

Nov. 25, 2012
By Jesse Beauregard

“Habitat has opened up unprecedented opportunities for me to cross the chasm that separates those of us who are free, safe, financially secure, well fed and housed, and influential enough to shape our own destiny from our neighbors who enjoy few, if any, of these advantages of life.”
―Jimmy Carter

This week marks the 29th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The former president and master carpenter led a weeklong build expedition with a small group to New York City in 1984, in an effort to help 19 families fulfill the dream of decent, affordable shelter. This experience planted the seed for the Carter Work Project, which has been an internationally recognized Habitat event ever since.

Habitat houses in Léogâne, Haiti.

For the second year in a row, Women Build, along with a team of 619 volunteers, are here in Léogâne, Haiti to help construct desperately needed housing for Haitian residents. Those who visited this earthquake-ravaged country in 2010 saw mountains of rubble, destroyed homes and massive heartbreak from the loss of 230,000 men, women and children. Such a devastating natural disaster left a great need for worldwide housing.

Today we start building two new homes, the residents of which were chosen by Habitat for Humanity Haiti based on greatest need. We are thrilled to be meeting the homeowners tomorrow and look forward to a busy week of building strong, hurricane and earthquake resistant houses.

The theme for today’s build is “One step at a time” because that’s exactly how Haiti residents and volunteers tackle a rebuild of this magnitude. Building and rebuilding homes is incremental and because of the dire need in Haiti, every family has been tasked with leveraging their available resources to make improvements, where and when possible. One step at a time is exactly how we’ll tackle the building of each of these new, safe homes being built this week for and with our fantastic partner families.

For more information about Women Build and the work that we do, please visit: or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Jesse Beauregard is the social media consultant for Habitat International’s Women Build and Cars for Homes programs.