Habitat for Humanity® International
Imagine a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
According to estimates, as much as 25% of the world's population � some 1.5 billion people � live in substandard housing or have no home at all. In many developing countries and even in the United States, poverty is so severe that even Habitat for Humanity houses are out of reach for families. For those struggling families, the concept of an investment or a mortgage is completely foreign and difficult for them to accept and embrace. To address the needs in the United States and in international communities, Habitat for Humanity has developed programs that bring home ownership to needy families while respecting each community's culture and traditions.
Tragically, the need for adequate housing is still present here in the United States. Families cram into tiny shacks with leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, tattered walls, and unsanitary conditions. In the United States, Habitat for Humanity can build a simple two-room house for an average of $60,000, and only $1,500 in other countries. Habitat for Humanity works tirelessly in hundreds of communities around the world to build homes and implement programs that provide lasting change.
Donations to Foolanthropy 2004 will go toward building a house in San Fernando, Calif. If we exceed our funding goal for this home, The Motley Fool community will be able to build homes in Egypt, The Philippines, Romania, and Guatemala. Your generosity will determine how many houses we build, in the United States and around the world. As always with Habitat for Humanity, it's not simply about donating money. If you are interested in helping to build the house in San Fernando, details on the location and how to become involved will be made available once all the funds are collected. Nothing compares to the joy of welcoming a deserving new family into a house that you have helped build.
Habitat for Humanity believes that safe and affordable housing is a basic human right, as well as a fundamental component of dignity and long-term well being for every person on earth. Habitat for Humanity puts into practice the conviction that healthy self-regard and the benefits that derive from the sense of worth is promoted not simply by living in an adequate house, but by fully contributing to the process of acquiring that house and the opportunity to help others also acquire adequate shelter.
Habitat for Humanity is not a giveaway program. Habitat for Humanity houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are in turn reinvested and used to build more houses within the community.
Habitat for Humanity has an open-door policy: all who desire to be a part of this work are welcome, regardless of religious preference or background. We reach families based on need, not creed, and we welcome volunteers and support from all backgrounds.
At work in 100 countries, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 175,000 houses, providing more than 900,000 people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent, and affordable shelter.