Thank you for your recent participation on a Global Village team. We hope your experience was very rewarding, and even life changing. If you have a story to share, or feedback for the Global Village department, please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
So, you’re back. Now what? You have seen the needs up close. You have seen the difference that a small group of people can make. You have changed lives - and you yourself will never be the same. So now what? Don’t let your hands fall idle, or your voice go unheard! Stay involved!
Housing in Canada:
Poverty and affordable housing are important concerns right here at home. Currently, more than 1.5 million Canadians are in desperate need of decent, affordable housing. One in five renter households in Canada spends more than 50% of their income on housing. Thousands of Canadians live in shelters or on the streets every night. In a country like Canada - with a strong economy - this should not be allowed! Housing is a right!
Canada is one of the few industrialized nations that has not maintained public investment in its social housing sector and lacks a national housing strategy. We have health and educational systems, but only a housing market. The private sector is rarely building housing that low-income families can afford to rent or buy. For low-income renters in many communities, the dream of owning a home is well out of reach.
Wherever you live in Canada, there are housing and homelessness non-profit organizations, networks and coalitions working for change in your area. Get plugged in to what they are doing!
There are 70 Habitat affiliates working to make a difference across Canada. We encourage you to get involved with and support the Habitat affiliate nearest you: http://www.habitat.ca/en/community/local-affiliates/find
In Canada, 30% of the approximately 1 million Aboriginal people live on reserves, where homeownership is slowly becoming more accessible and acceptable. About 70% of Aboriginal people live off-reserve and, overall, have a very high incidence of housing need. Off-reserve Aboriginal households are only eligible for the same housing support programs as are offered to the general population - there is no separate pool of government funding specifically intended for the non-reserve population. This population is underserved, and Aboriginal families often fall between the cracks in terms of social assistance and the limited availability of non-reserve housing programs.
CMHC has helped HFHC develop a pilot Aboriginal Housing Program involving numerous HFHC Affiliates. This pilot program is being implemented both on- and off-reserve. In most cases, the housing projects are carried out in partnership with Aboriginal communities and organizations. The program helps address the chronic housing problem that exists for Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, but also generates unique initiatives which are being evaluated as they are developed. These new approaches and best practices are being shared among Aboriginal groups and made available to other housing providers.
You can help by advocating for better living conditions for our Aboriginal people, and getting involved if your local affiliate is participating in the Aboriginal housing program
Your voice is also needed with respect to international poverty and housing. It is estimated that 900 million urban dwellers and over one billion rural people live in overcrowded and poor quality housing without adequate provision for water, sanitation, drainage or the collection of household waste. More than 1.2 billion people have no access to safe drinking water, and 2.4 billion do not have adequate sanitation services. War, occupation, discrimination, development projects, privatization and economic reforms have evicted millions from their rightful homes and lands. The global number of slum dwellers is projected to increase five-fold between 1990 and 2020.
In the midst of these challenges, Habitat for Humanity seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Habitat has built more than 350,000 houses around the world, providing over 1,750,000 people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter.
In addition to the Global Village program, Habitat for Humanity Canada is involved internationally by obtaining and providing funding for housing initiatives in many developing and disaster-stricken countries.
Habitat for Humanity Canada’s mission is "To mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.”
Here are some ways to further the work of Habitat:
You can assist the Global Village program's mission to promote homeownership and reduce poverty around the world through a financial donation to the program. Simply send in a cheque to Habitat for Humanity Canada, and request that your funds be designated for Global Village. Or, you can donate online and make a general donation to the Global Village program by becoming a "Friend of Global Village".
Check out the information listed below and join us in the fight against poverty.
Please check out these websites:
Canadian Council for International Cooperation http://www.ccic.ca/
Canadian Christian Relief & Development Ass’n http://www.ccrda.org/
Canadian International Development Agency http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/
Habitat International Coalition http://www.hic-net.org/
Make Poverty History - http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/
Canadian Housing & Renewal Association http://www.chra-achru.ca/
Habitat for Humanity Canada http://www.habitat.ca/
Kairos Canada http://www.kairoscanada.org/
In all of these organizations you will find like-minded people who share your vision of a better world, and have chosen to give of their time, talents and resources to help bring it about. They will be very happy to have you join their efforts, and we at Habitat for Humanity Canada will be especially pleased to have you remain involved with us!
Our Thanks to You!
Global Village staff