A small team of home. staff and volunteers have recently returned from a ten-day trip to Nepal, where we helped build 32 new homes for families in need as part of our Home-for-a-Home Scheme with Habitat for Humanity.

As part of the scheme, which began in 2017, home. funds the build of a new home in Fiji or Nepal for every home we build here in New Zealand. So far, we have funded the build of more than 200 new homes for families in Fiji and Nepal, some of which we’ve been fortunate enough to build ourselves on trips like this one, to Biratnagar.

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Biratnagar is situated on the very southern tip of Nepal bordering with India and Bangladesh. It is a very poor and undeveloped area, and was heavily affected by the 2017 floods, with many families losing their homes to flooding. However, it’s been largely forgotten by the rest of the world and even those in Nepal, with many families continuing to live in severe poverty.

After three flights and almost 26 hours of flying time, our team spent a week working tirelessly in 35-40 degree temperatures, constructing the foundations and walls of 32 homes for members of the local community. We were warmly received by the locals who were incredibly appreciative of our support, with many joining in on the build as well.

The team's first task was to form a chain gang to cart bowls of concrete to the foundations of the new homes. It was hard manual labour, especially in the heat, but brought a great sense of camaraderie to the team. Then, once the foundations were complete, the team moved onto the blockwork to construct the walls.

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It was hard to keep up with the locals.

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A very special memory of the trip was being invited to visit the existing dwellings of those who would be moving into these soon-to-be-finished homes we were building. It was a very humbling experience as the team was shown around the flood prone thatch and mud houses and the people were so warm and hospitable, but you could tell they were all concerned about the upcoming monsoon season. It really helped to put into perspective how blessed we really are here in New Zealand and spurred us on to work harder so these homes could be finished before monsoon season.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in this trip, especially all the volunteers and to the Habitat for Humanity team who helped make it all possible. We’d also like to acknowledge those who kept things moving along back home - after all, it’s the good work done at home that enables us to do equally good work in places like Nepal and Fiji.

Our next trip is in September, this time back to Fiji. We’re always keen to extend the invitation to our build partners and clients so if you’re interested in coming along and being part of a truly rewarding experience, please get in touch with Jessica - jessica.cooper@builtbyhome.com

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