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On the front lines of community development

Caption: Robin Brigden is the last one on the right.

Resolute’s Robin Brigden volunteers in Fiji with Habitat for Humanity

In November 2017, Robin Brigden took a two-week vacation from her fast-paced job in Resolute’s Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Government Affairs Department to go where the real action is.

As a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program, Robin and 17 others travelled to Nawaka Village, located on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, to help a local family build their new home.

Habitat for Humanity is always front and center during times of crisis, helping rebuild communities after devastating floods and hurricanes. But the organization is also known worldwide for working to eliminate poverty housing. Habitat helps low-income families build homes by providing volunteer labor, materials and no-profit/no-interest mortgages tailored to income levels. As mortgages are repaid, the funds are used to build more houses.

Not only did Robin volunteer her time once again (having participated in the 2009 Global Village Program in Hawaii), she also contributed money to help cover the cost of building materials, lodging, food and activities.

“I do this because it provides an opportunity to really understand global development issues and to learn more about other cultures,” explains Robin. “As you let go of the many comforts of home, you start to focus on things that really matter. It is a life-changing experience.”

It took less than two weeks to build the small house. Each day was dedicated to a particular task: digging holes, sizing lumber (Fiji pine) for the walls, cutting the strapping, assembling the walls and floorboards, and painting.

Nine people will live in the new house: 60-year old Ibrahim (a part-time security guard), his wife and seven children, including his older son, Russi, who helped build the house.

During the house dedication ceremony, Ibrahim said that even if he had saved up all of his money for his entire life he…’would never have been able to afford this home. Thank you!’”

To look for volunteer opportunities with Habitat for Humanity or to donate to the organization, visit: https://habitatglobalvillage.ca.

 

 

 

 

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