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Archive for October, 2010

I'm advocating for a more sustainable National Service program that does not rely heavily on Congressional appropriations each year.

Today is a special, special day folks…it’s WORLD HABITAT DAY! WHD is an international holiday designated by the United Nations as the first Monday of October. The purpose of World Habitat Day is to bring attention to issues of shelter and housing worldwide.

Let’s face it, we look outside our picture window and see immaculately groomed lawns, stone facades, and children playing wiffle ball safely in the culdesac. Lovely, right? Well, most of the world does NOT see this pleasant image when they look out their window. Nearly a BILLION people see something along these lines…

With a population of 1 million, Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa.

According to UN Habitat, one out of every three city dwellers – nearly a billion people – lives in a slum. Slums lack adequate services that we all take for granted and meerly overlook (Slum indicators include: lack of water, lack of sanitation, overcrowding, non-durable structures and insecure tenure.)

A child stands in front of a place of business in Kenya's Kibera slum.

Habitat for Humanity hopes that by raising awareness and advocating for universal decent housing we can dismantle and alter the systems that allow for poverty housing and make an affordable, decent place to live a reality for all.

In addition to building homes in partnership with people in need, Habitat advocates to address the causes of poverty housing. Advocacy activities always include a specific request, such as asking supporters to sign a petition or sending a message to an elected official.

As I wrote last time, Habitat International is putting together a worldwide photo petition to send to Congress. Austin Habitat for Humanity has made huge efforts to contribute to this photo advocacy campaign by asking their volunteers, staff, board members, and partner families, “What will YOU build?”

Austin Habitat has collected nearly 150 pictures thus far to contribute to Habitat International’s photo wall . Check them out on our flickr group!

If you want to get involved, upload your own photo to the wall and take action now by emailing your Congressmen in support of safe and decent housing.

p.s. Watch this great vid about Austin Habitat…

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