- Date when Habitat started working in the country: May 4, 1985
- Families served: 12,891
- Volunteers hosted: 1,000
Habitat for Humanity in Bolivia
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia began its mission on May 4, 1985, in response to the needs of families in precarious situations in Sapecho, Alto Beni (La Paz). To date, they have provided more than 12,891 suitable housing solutions to marginalized and vulnerable sectors all over the country. We invite you to learn more about our activities at: http://www.habitatbolivia.org/
Housing need in Bolivia
Bolivia reported a high rate of quantitative and qualitative housing deficit. In the recent past, there were significant reductions in the incidence of extreme poverty: 38.2% in 2005 to 25.4% in 2010; in the same period, moderate poverty was reduced from 60.6% to 49.6%.
The housing deficit increases by thirty thousand homes per year (63.8% of the Bolivian population in urban areas and 36.2% in the rural areas do not own a home). Moreover, 31% of the population have homes built with inadequate materials (buildings requiring repairs, renovations and/or renewals) and 64.8% of the population own homes with insufficient space. Also, these factors cause the increase of population living in extreme poverty and overcrowding with low health care and education.
Habitat’s contribution in Bolivia
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia identifies with the situation of Bolivian families living in substandard and unhealthy conditions, and managed to provide housing solutions that improved the lives of more than 12,891 families across the country for more than 30 years, this being only the beginning of the transformation of communities.
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia is a non-governmental and non-profit development organization that seeks to promote access to adequate housing for all Bolivians. To that end, it set out three basic areas of activity: advocacy, technical advisory services and volunteerism.
Habitat Bolivia aims to sensitize the Bolivian population on the right to adequate housing to break the cycle of poverty. Therefore, it leads the National Network of Human Settlements (RENASEH in Spanish), which advocates for change and/or reform of public and private policies that facilitate access to social housing and better quality of life.
Technical assistance services
Habitat Bolivia provides technical assistance services for the self-construction of new homes, additions, repairs, improvements, renovations and conclusions, according to the particular needs of each beneficiary, that is, houses are built with and for people in need as equal partners, through self-construction and mutual help. Our technical staff provides training to the beneficiaries in construction issues from design, supervision and monitoring until the work completion, ensuring the homes quality thanks to the durable material used and volunteer labor, directly providing new job opportunities for participating families.
The mobilization of institutional brigades, with local and international volunteers, makes it possible for solidarity to cross borders and to be
reflected in the selfless help offered by “construction brigades” (between 8-20 persons) traveling and collaborating in the construction of houses for one or two weeks (or just a few days). More than 1,000 international volunteers from the U.S.A., Canada, Switzerland, France, Italy, Australia and England have been welcomed in Bolivia thanks to two programs that organize foreign volunteers; Global Village (Aldea Global) and World Challenge (Desafío Mundial). Currently, this program is being reactivated.
Meet a Habitat family
Elizabeth López Montano (25 years old) is a single mother of two children: Nelsi and Johnny, 4 and 7 years old. This family lives in the community of Lajas, municipality of Pojo, and depends on the mother’s work as a farmer in a small plot of land, that was handed over by her own father. Faced with the possibility of having her own through assisted selfconstruction, Elizabeth took on the responsibility since she had stable income. Her father, Tiburcio Montano, urged her to set up a decent place to live with their two young children, telling her that she had his unconditional support to meet this challenge. Now, thanks to the intervention of Habitat for Humanity Bolivia, Elizabeth learned about construction in workshops and through training, but also realized that many lives can be transformed thanks to the joint work of a caring community. These are the words of Elizabeth: “We worked hard, but it was worth the effort, now I have a house for my children.”
What you can do
You can help families in need in Bolivia that currently live in unsanitary or overcrowded conditions, by taking one of the following actions:
Volunteer: We are always looking for volunteers who can make use of their time, skills and abilities to enable others to live in better conditions. Join one of the trips scheduled by Global Village to Bolivia or organize your own brigade. Contact us to learn how you can help: http://www.habitatbolivia.org/voluntarios/