HR LOD staff at the build site in Machakos, Kenya

HFHI Human Resource Learning and Organisation Development team participate in a build in Machakos, Kenya

“Today the lion of Judah has descended upon my home. He has wiped away my tears,” exclaimed Mary with her hands in the air in exaltation.

As the house kept taking shape, it was evident that the life of Mary 57-year-old mother of 3 and a grandmother to 2 children all of whom are living with disabilities would change for good.

Mary had to squeeze her big family of seven (7), in a small house with rusted corrugated iron sheets without a toilet and bathroom. The 7 include her three (3) daughters who are living with varied disabilities, and her two (2) grandchildren born of her now divorced daughter for bearing children with disabilities.

Habitat for Humanity’s Human Resource Learning and Organisation Development (HRLOD) team participated in a build that will change Mary’s life in Machakos County, Kenya. This is one of the special builds organised  to give staff hands on experience in the field as opposed to the office environment that defines their scope of work.

Beehive of activities at the build site.

HR LOD team members at the build site in Machakos, Kenya.

ICF Technology

The build that was organised in collaboration with HFH Kenya under Habitat’s Vulnerable Group Housing Program involved the use of Onsite ICF technology. This technology by our start-up partners OnsiteICF, produces blocks are a replica of play castle blocks, but are bigger in size and lighter in weight.

The technology is  convenient, easy to use and very cost effective reducing the overall cost of construction.  The result is a permanent house with added benefits like sound and thermal Insulation, pest resistant, reduced water absorption and fire retardant. The technology is also eco-friendly as it  involves use of polyurethane materials that prevent land excavations which is a prerequisite of other methods.

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) blocks at a build site in Machakos, Kenya.

ICF blocks pictured at a build site.

The technology , which has also been replicated in other HFH Kenya projects in Laikipia is one of the many technologies that HFHI uses to make access to affordable housing a reality.

The HRLOD team together with masons from the On-site ICF, were all immersed into activity that will revive the hope of Mary’s family. From carrying building blocks, to arranging them to make walls , to mixing ballast and fixing steel rodes.


HRLOD team members fixing blocks using concrete and steel rods.

From left: Ivan Kyselica Learning & Organisation Development Manager EME - Area Office; Joylyne Toroitich, Specialist HR Africa; and Jackie Athieno the Director Human Resource Business Partner fixing block at a build site in Machakos, Kenya.

Jackie Athieno the Director Human Resource Business Partner emphasized on the importance of having the team , which in most cases work within the confines of the office participate hands on in the build.

“It is a great way to connect with HFHI’s value of humility, there is something bigger but in all of us, in our own small ways we can change the world one person at time.”

At Habitat for Humanity, we are guided by the values of humility, courage and accountability; “It is such a wonderful experience for me seeing how a one-day effort would change the life of Mary’s family”.