Habitat for Humanity 2012 – 2013

Habitat for Humanity 2012 - 2013

Below are photos just received of the current building works in Mozambique.

If you were 16 or 17 in the Sixth Form and working towards your AS Levels, how would you choose to spend your spare time? Relaxing with your friends? Playing on your X Box? Extra study?

A group of 11 sixth formers at Lampton School decided that raising over £37,000 to travel to Mozambique with Habitat for Humanity was a good idea.

The school has run the project with Habitat for Humanity since 2010, sending their first pioneering group to the Gaza Province in Mozambique in July 2011. The Lampton School teams join forces with Habitat for Humanity Mozambique to support their Orphans and Vulnerable Groups programme that builds houses for families that are badly affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic which has swept southern Africa. Habitat for Humanity’s approach is based on community development.

Habitat for Humanity in Mozambique works with local community leaders to identify those with the greatest need for improved housing. The overall aim is to eliminate poverty housing in Mozambique. The staff and students join the community and work with the families to help build simple, decent, low-cost homes.

In 2013, homes are being built for Angelica and Rossina. Click on the links below for their stories.

If you would like to donate to our cause, please visit our Just Giving Page here

In July 2012, a group of students and staff traveled to Mozambique with Habitat for Humanity.

Alison Farrell, Lampton Staff member wrote the following blog about last year’s trip.

Monday 31st July 2012, Chiphene, Xai-Xai, Gaza, Mozambique – Morning

Last night we arrived at our lodgings, most with bags, some without – three had missed the connecting flight from Johannesburg to Maputo. Whilst in the great scheme of things this isn’t a great tragedy – everyone has enough to share, everyone has packed their anti-malaria tablets in their hand luggage and a change of clothes – the important ‘you can’t work on site without these on’ things- are in the bags – namely steel-toe-capped boots and hard hats. So I am busy making a note to myself (my bag didn’t make the connecting flight!) next year everyone travels in their boots!

We are staying in lodges which have been built behind a saw mill, which produces a fine range of garden furniture from the local mahogany. The Honey Pot is a stopping point along the EN1 which runs the north through Mozambique from Maputo in the south to Caia further north, where it mysteriously runs out. There is an armed guard at the gates and we are assured he is there to protect the valuable wood (rather than the guests!)

As our health and safety briefing finishes, the Habitat for Humanity truck arrives from Maputo (a mere 3 hours away) with the missing bags, which means everyone can be effective on site! Boots, hard hats and the other protective clothing required by HfH GB are grabbed from the bags and we are ready to head off to meet our families.

Last night we travelled along the same road, but it was dark. This morning you can see the houses and fields dotted between the trees. There are people (mainly women and young children) out in the fields; carrying impossible loads on their heads, walking in the dust along the roads. The bus is very quiet. The students all have their sunglasses on, so it is difficult to know what they are thinking, but the reality of being here seems to be slowly dawning.

We turn off the main, tarmacked road by a roadside bar. Anastascio (our bus driver) scrapes the bottom of his beautifully maintained mini-bus and launches it down a sandy road, which until now looked like a track into the bush. Slowly we make our way through the village of Chipehne. Children wave and run besides the bus. How odd we must look.

A low hanging branch is now baring our way. Merito our interpreter is going to run off to get a saw to remove the branch. We sit on the bus. Then Silvia, the Global Village Coordinator in Mozambique suggests we walk (we are now about 30 minutes late). So we all get off the bus and walk to our meeting point. We hear before we see. The women are singing.

There is a group of about 20 women and children stood at the entrance to a compound where one of the houses is being built, and they are singing a welcome song. They are smiling and clapping and singing. We are welcomed into the community with joy, openness and belonging.

The students are taken aback and are quite reserved in their reactions – they are all firmly welded to their sunglasses, so eyes cannot be read. I later find out that lots of tears have been shed. Cameras and phones come out (on both sides). The singing continues for a few more moments, and then stops, as we have our formal introductions. This is something that we have not been warned about, nor have we really prepared for. Alice, who is already living in her Habitat for Humanity home, welcomes us and prays for a good build. Maria, who is one of the women we are building with, introduces her grandchildren Felix and Alberto, who are both embarrassed and overwhelmed with the attention. Joaquim and Fernando (her son) are at school. She expresses hope for the build and the changes that it will make in her life and those she cares for.

Helena now speaks (we are at her compound). She has been sleeping outside because of the state of her current house. She too looks forward to a future for herself and her grandchild Pedro. It is now our turn. What do we do? What do we say? There is a moment of hesitation from our whole group. It falls to me to introduce the group – both the Lampton School group and the Barnsley College group. I seem to remember something about working together, learning from each other, and seeing a home at the end of the 5 days. It feels a bit inadequate but it is done. More singing.

Then one or two of the women from the group break into a dance. More women begin to dance. Hands are taken and eyes are flashed and then we are all dancing. There is no refusing. I am anxious that my steel-toe capped feet might stamp on bare feet… but everything is ok and it all passes without incident.

The dancing stops and Silvia takes the floor. The group is split into two mixed teams (mixing Lampton and Barnsley College staff and students). Team Pedro work with Pedro and Simon, the local builders contracted by Habitat for Humanity Mozambique to build the house for Helena and Pedro. Team Lucas will build the house for Maria and her family working with ‘King’ Lucas and James. Maria’s house is about one kilometre from Helena’s and so Team Lucas off to their site.
It is only 10 am! The work starts here.

Maria’s House

This is the house that Maria and her son Fernando, and grandchildren Joaquim, Alberto and Felix live in. We have 5 days to complete their Habitat for Humanity home.

We arrive on site to find the foundations dug and the first two courses of block in place. This means that some of the most back breaking working has been done before we even arrive. Alice, Maria and a few others from the welcome party have arrived and are already starting to combine the dry mix for the cement.

Block is sourced locally and has been delivered to the site, but placed at the edge closest to the main tracks. This means it needs to be moved closer to the building. A chain is set up so that we can pass block safely from the edge of the site to the building. This attracts even more attention from children living nearby. One of them plucks up enough courage to collect a block from the stack and carry it across the whole compound; then another and then another. The pile disappears quickly.

Now the block can be placed, and the walls constructed. Lucas and Simon take great care levelling and lining up corners. They set up string lines to guide the placing of block and the walls start to go up in earnest. Lucas gives everyone a go at putting the cement down, and laying block. He watches very carefully.

After about an hour and a half’s work there are 5 courses of block laid and it is time for lunch.
Homes were built for Angelica and Rossina. Click on the links below for their stories.

If you would like to donate to our cause, please visit our Just Giving Page here

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