This past Monday, October 3, marked a celebratory milestone for the
Habitat for Humanity organization. Being World Habitat Day [always observed the first Monday in October], the 5000,000 built by its partners was dedicated in Maai Mahiu, Kenya, while the 5000,001 home was raising its walls in Paterson, New Jersey.
This means that half a million new thresholds have been constructed, and half a million dreams have become reality for so many households formerly in crisis.
“This week is like Christmas,” said 59-year old grandmother, Leah Wairimu Ngugi, who will live in the Kenya home with her two grandchildren.
For over three years, they lived in a tent, with little protection from the elements or animals. She continued, “I believe that Habitat was sent by God.”
Since its inception in 1976, Habitat For Humanity has tackled the challenge of adequate housing in an ecumenical framework, growing in many countries all over the world.
The figures are staggering: Over 1.6 billion worldwide live in substandard housing, with 100 million people homeless, according to a recent United Nations report. 32%global population lives in urban slums, while 95 million people in the U.S. alone have shelter challenges—one-third [!] of the nation.
Moving beyond just one day, this entire week is focuses on action and advocacy, through various affiliate-based events, tours, and meetings. Activities will culminate in November with the 28th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Haiti.
Adequate housing is a basic human right—NOT a privilege.