Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka celebrates the successful handover of 98 homes for plantation workers of Hellbodde Estate, Nuwara Eliya sponsored by the Government of India

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka celebrates the successful handover of 98 homes for plantation workers of Hellbodde Estate, Nuwara Eliya sponsored by the Government of India

On March 24th 2019, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, ceremoniously handed over 98 homes built under the ‘Indian Housing Project’, to the families of the Hellbodde Estate in Nuwara Eliya. Gracing the festivities were Hon. Palani Thigambaram, Minister for Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, Hon. Gayantha Karunathilake, Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, and Hon. Radhakrishnan, Minister of Special Area Development.

The Indian Housing Project, funded by the Government of India and launched under the auspices of the Ministry of Hill Country, New Villages and Infrastructure and Community Development, envisions the resettlement of at least 4,000 plantation worker families in newly created cluster villages or townships in the Central and Uva Provinces. As part of Phase 1 of the Indian Housing Project, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has successfully constructed 98 homes for plantation workers of Hellbodde Estate. An additional 267 homes are currently under construction by Habitat for Humanity in 05 other estates across the Central Province.

Speaking at the event, Indian High Commissioner Sandhu described the Indian Housing Project which contains a financial envelope of over US$ 350 million, as the largest single Indian grant assistance project in any country abroad. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, drawing attention to the close relations between India and Sri Lanka, described India as a true friend, always ready to assist Sri Lanka during emergencies and crisis situations. Given this special relationship between the two nations, the 98-house village was officially named ‘Bhagat Singh Puram’, after famous Indian freedom fighter and youth Icon – Bhagat Singh.

Coinciding with the official event, Mr. Yu Hwa Li, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, noted that the close collaboration between the Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure & Community Development, the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), respective Regional Plantation Companies (RPC), Plantation Management, home-owner beneficiaries and the Estate Worker Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS) of Hellbodde played an integral role in the successful completion of ‘Bhagat Singh Puram’.

Comprising a minimum of 550 square feet, each new home consists of two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a toilet. The ownership of the housing program rests with the Estate Workers’ Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS) who with the participation of the home-owner families and local construction service providers are engaged in the construction of the homes. This unique participatory approach encourages homeowners to take ownership of the construction of their own homes, while Habitat for Humanity provides technical assistance, quality assurance & monitoring throughout the construction process, ensuring housing quality standards are met.              

Celebrating 25 years of operations in Sri Lanka, Habitat for Humanity has assisted more than 25,500 families by building homes, facilitating access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities for communities and assisting families to improve their shelter conditions.

Youth Rebuild 2019

Youth Rebuild 2019

Habitat Sri Lanka hosted its 2 part Youth Rebuild 2019 in Nayanalokagama, Negombo as a part of the Habitat Young Leaders Build regional campaign with the generosity and sponsorship of Bloomberg. This initiative focused on the community around the existing Homes4Hope project which includes providing strength, stability and self-reliance to families who have individuals with visual impairment. Youth volunteers from Japan through the Global Village program together with local volunteers joined hands to paint and rejuvenate the livelihood centre of this community on 9th March. Revitalizing this livelihood space will provide the community with more income generation opportunities. As phase 2 of this event, youth GV volunteers got together to paint the neighboring school main hall on 12th March. The hall acts as a multipurpose space for student assemblies and primary classrooms because of limited facilities – and had not been colour-washed for years due to financial constraints. As a part of this event, Habitat Sri Lanka also conducted a WaSH training for over 200 students in that same freshly painted hall; and talked about Hygiene and Cleanliness. Watch this space for a video on our Youth Rebuild!

Habitat Sri Lanka engages youth with Colombo Model United Nations 2019

Habitat Sri Lanka engages youth with Colombo Model United Nations 2019

As part of the regional Habitat Young Leaders Build Campaign, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka was proud to join hands with the dynamic delegates of the 25th Session of the Colombo Model United Nations from the 1st – 3rd March. Mr. Yu Hwa Li, Habitat Sri Lanka’s National Director, who was invited as the Chief Guest of COMUN 2019, addressed the assembly on ‘Reconstituting Global Perspectives’ and the importance of harnessing the power of youth towards becoming advocates of social change. He further elaborated on the global vision and mission of Habitat for Humanity and the impact of building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter over the last 25 years in Sri Lanka. Habitat Sri Lanka also hosted a booth during the COMUN sessions enabling the young delegates to learn more about Habitat’s unique youth engagement programs and volunteer opportunities.