Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka Constructs 80 Homes in Kegalle District

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka Constructs 80 Homes in Kegalle District

Helping families achieve strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter

In celebration of National Housing Day, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (HFHSL) ceremoniously handed over 80 houses constructed for families affected by landslides in the Kegalle District on 14 June 2017 in Aranayake, Sri Lanka. This project was launched by Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka in partnership with Alwaleed Philanthropies in January 2017, as part of a Disaster Response initiative to assist families affected by Cyclone Roanu which struck Sri Lanka in May 2016.

In response to this disaster HFHSL launched the ‘Kegalle Housing Project’, estimated at nearly Eighty Million Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR 80,000,000) to construct homes for 80 families in the Divisional Secretariats of Aranayake, Deraniyagala and Yatiyantota. Providing safe housing solutions to more than 350 affected people, each completed house constructed through this project contained disaster resilient features recommended by the National Building and Research Organization (NBRO) and was 550 sq.ft in area consisting of two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. Commenting on the project, HFHSL President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Lakshan Madurasinghe said, “At Habitat for Humanity, we believe that every Sri Lankan deserves a decent place to live. I am very proud of the impact Habitat Sri Lanka has been able to create through the Kegalle Housing Project.  In merely six months HFHSL has been able to help rebuild the lives of 80 families who lost their homes and livelihoods, which is indeed a great achievement. We are sincerely grateful to Alwaleed Philanthropies for their generosity and their support.”

Operating in Sri Lanka since 1995, Habitat for Humanity has supported more than 23,000 families by building and improving places they can call home. HFHSL is currently engaged in implementing a project funded by the European Union which aims to construct and repair nearly 2,400 houses in Batticaloa, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu by 2019. Additionally, HFHSL recently commenced the ‘Indian Housing Project’ to construct 100 homes for plantation workers in the Central and Uva Provinces by 2018 through a project funded by the Government of India. Apart from housing construction, Habitat Sri Lanka also helps families to build or repair water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and provides WASH training in communities, and is currently supporting rural communities in the Matale District to gain access to safe drinking water and to construct adequate sanitation facilities.

As an organization dedicated to fostering volunteerism in Sri Lanka, Habitat for Humanity also offers numerous volunteer opportunities for Corporates, Schools and Organizations to volunteer their time and effort to help communities in need. HFHSL offers a unique volunteer experience –where volunteers are able to contribute their unskilled labour towards constructing homes at volunteer build events. One such build event was the ‘Women’s Build’, which was organized in celebration of International Women’s Day under the theme of “Women Empowering Women” where Sri Lankan women from all walks of life joined hands to raise funds and build homes for families in Yatiyantota. Additionally, a ‘Scout Build’ was held in February where more than 200 Boy and Girl Scouts participated in constructing homes for families affected by landslides in Aranayake. In 2017, HFHSL has also hosted more than 150 International volunteers through its Global Village volunteer program.

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has launched a comprehensive disaster response plan in response to the floods and landslides caused by Cyclone Mora in May 2017. This project aims to assist the flood and landslide affected families in the Kalutara District through the provision of emergency shelter and sanitation solutions. In the recovery phase, Habitat will work with displaced families to construct permanent houses. Corporates, organizations or donors interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s work in communities across Sri Lanka are encouraged to follow www.facebook.com/hfhsl

Habitat for Humanity ‘Breaks Ground’ in Aranayake

Habitat for Humanity ‘Breaks Ground’ in Aranayake

An initiative in collaboration with Alwaleed Philanthropies and the Government of Sri Lanka to rebuild the lives of families affected by landslides

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (HFHSL) has partnered with Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP), chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal AlSaud, in an initiative to rebuild the lives of families affected by landslides caused by Cyclone Roanu, in May 2016. Together with the Government of Sri Lanka, District Secretariat of Kegalle and Divisional Secretaries of Aranayake, Yatiyantota and Deraniyagala, 80 families were identified as key beneficiaries for the rebuilding initiative.

Cyclone Roanu, which hit Sri Lanka early last year, caused severe flooding and landslides, resulting in more than 200 deaths, and displacing close to 300,000 others. The estimated destruction and damage across Sri Lanka reached 250–280 billion rupees (US$1.7–2 billion) in total, including the loss of homes and livelihoods.

Alwaleed Philanthropies has come forward to support Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s initiative by providing funding to construct 80 houses for victims of the landslides. Globally supporting projects, regardless of gender, race or religion, Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported Habitat for Humanity’s work over the past years including the earthquakes in Ecuador, Japan and Nepal and a cyclone in Vanuatu. Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s President of the Board of Directors, Mr. Lakshan Madurasinghe said, “At Habitat for Humanity, we believe that every Sri Lankan deserves a decent place to live. The Kegalle Housing Project is one of the many programmes that we will spearhead this year and is set to rebuild lives of those who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the landslides. We are sincerely grateful to Alwaleed Philanthropies for identifying the need and coming forward to support this project.”

A Memorandum of Understanding between HFHSL and the Government of Sri Lanka’s agents in Aranayake and Yatiyantota was signed on 19th December 2016 at the Kegalle District Secretariat. Through the Kegalle Housing Project, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has pledged to construct 40 houses for the victims of landslides in Kalugala, Aranayake, 23 houses in Illukthenna Estate, Deraniyagala followed by the construction of 17 houses in Yatiyantota. The new houses will be stronger and better prepared for future disasters.

The ground breaking ceremony which launched the Kegalle Housing Project took place on the 16th of January in Kalugala Village in Aranayake. The ground breaking ceremony was attended by the Aranayaka Coordinating Committee Co-Chairman, former Deputy Minister Lalith Dissanayake, Aranayaka Coordinating Committee Co-Chairman, Aranayaka UNP National Organiser Nimal Jayasinghe, District Secretary of Kegalle, Mr. W.M. Abeywickrama Wanasuriya, Divisional Secretary of Aranayake, Mr. Z.A.M.Faizal, Secretary of the Disaster Management Centre, Mr. Miyanwala, President of the National Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, Mr.Lakshan Madurasinghe and the National Director of HFHSL, Dr. Dinesh Kanagaratnam.

Commenting at the ground breaking ceremony, Mr. Madurasinghe continued to say, “Parallel to this project we are looking to launch many key Habitat volunteer build initiatives in 2017, such as, Habitat Young Leaders Build, which will consist of a Scouts Build and a Women’s Build in the upcoming months. It is our hope that these initiatives will not only contribute towards rebuilding lives and empower communities, but also contribute towards fostering the spirit of volunteerism among the youth in Sri Lanka.”