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This fundraiser ended on 05/29/11

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Fundraising for Habitat for Humanity, Malawi to support the shared vision of eliminating poverty housing from the face of the earth.

Malawi is a country of immense beauty, yet also of extreme poverty. The country is rated as one of the least developed countries in the world.

Ninety percent of its population lives in rural areas and 75 percent live on less than US$2 a day. The economy is predominately agricultural and is dependent on substantial international assistance.

Because of the widespread poverty, four out of five families live in substandard homes, with little hope of ever being able to afford a decent house. A typical village hut is built of mud and daub with a dirt floor and thatched roof and requires frequent repair. The conditions put families at high risk of all kinds of diseases, with leaky roofs making the house damp and mud floors attracting insects.

Habitat Malawi houses are made of kiln-fired clay bricks, glass windows, air vents for good ventilation and iron sheet roofs. Each house has a foundation made from large stones, brick or cement. By providing improved housing to families, Habitat Malawi has enhanced the lives of people and reduced the occurrence of malaria, respiratory illnesses and intestinal parasites.

HFH Malawi launched the Building in Stages program. This incremental building program allows low-income families to improve their living conditions gradually over time, based on their resources. A project starts with a one-room house that costs less than half of a full-size Habitat house. The house can be fully paid off in about 3 to 5 years. After the first stage is paid off, families can add another room. When the extension is paid-off, the family can extend again until they finally complete a house. This incremental building keeps payments and repayment periods down, and incents pay-off in order to move to the next stage of building. It also means that Habitat can help more families in a shorter period of time, because the capital needed to start each house is less.

Home Improvement Loans assist families in improving their living conditions and health in a way that they can afford and which is not a burden to them. The loans can be used for a durable roof, floor, latrine, doors and windows or even plastic sheeting and termite treatment. As one loan is paid off, the families may select another home improvement and receive another loan. The loan amounts are smaller than Building in Stages.
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