George Clarke has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for almost ten years now; and he made his first trip to Sri Lanka in April 2019. George led a team of 12 members; some of who had been on GV trips before and some were first time Habitat Volunteers.

Their build was located in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka – sunny Batticaloa. His volunteer experience in Sri Lanka was special for many reasons – one of them being the opportunity to work alongside one mason in particular; Ram. Ram had never worked with volunteers before and he was excited to have volunteers assisting him with the construction of his house. The language barrier between Ram and the volunteers was not a challenge as they began to work together. George loved how Ram always showed up with a smile no matter how hot or humid it was on the build site and he really let them try everything they could on the construction site, including leveling the foundation.

By the third day of their build, Ram would challenge George; and the two of them would compete to see who finishes the task first. This dynamic had a way of empowering both volunteer and mason, and they didn’t feel the day pass by in the scorching heat. They were constructing a home in good spirits, with honest hard work.

On the fifth day of the build George and his team had a cooking lesson at the guest house they were staying at, which George describes to be the “greatest highlight” of the trip. Their Global Village experience was packed with local culture, hospitality and humility as they worked together with Habitat Sri Lanka to empower communities in need through decent and safe shelter.