Habitat for Humanity: Build Homes for Poor People
Habitat for Humanity: Build Homes for Poor People
  • Reporter Lee Sang-hui
  • 승인 2016.06.01 12:25
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“Habitat for Humanity,” also known as “Habitat” in short to a number of Korean people, is a Christian volunteering organization that builds residences for poor people. It was founded by Millard Fuller and his wife Linda Fuller in 1976. They built residences for people in Zaire, Africa. The organization aims to improve the quality of education and living by providing residential surroundings, ultimately contributing to the development of the state. Currently, Habitat for Humanity is at work in more than 70 different nations. In Korea, the organization began campaigning in the late 1980s and made an official start in 1992.
Habitat campaign not only constructs, but also repairs existing constructions. The campaign includes repairing activities such as thermal retrofitting, washroom installation, and roof reinforcements. For sufferers, Habitat for Humanity offers wooden temporary dwelling units. Globally, Habitat for Humanity Korea provides volunteering service to 70 other nations joining the campaign. Volunteers build houses, are educated on the importance of habitation, participate in cultural interchange activities, and look around the attractions in foreign countries.
Habitat for Humanity Korea carries on various campaigns in order to increase public interest toward the organization and attract potential donors. One of them is the handwriting campaign, which began in late February and lasted for about 2 months. People uploaded pictures of their handwriting on SNS, and the content of the handwriting was given by Habitat for Humanity Korea. It read “Invest 1 minute in the campaign. 1000 handwritings gathered by this campaign will build a house for poor families with children” The handwriting always finished with hashtags: “#Habitat for Humanity Korea #Handwriting for Hope.” People who uploaded the handwriting tagged two or three of their friends so that they could also participate in the campaign.
During and even after the campaign period, plenty of people participated in the handwriting campaign. The total number of Habitat handwritings gathered for 21 days from Apr .1 to Apr. 21 was 8952. The data was derived by counting the handwritings uploaded on Twitter, Facebook, and other blogs by PulseK, a big data analysis service on SNS.
Now the campaign is over and many people wonder how their handwritings helped poor families with children. According to the person in charge of Habitat for Humanity Korea, they will build 1 house without compensation as more than 1000 handwritings were gathered by the campaign. The family who will receive the benefit from this campaign is selected by an internal meeting. Building will be completed by the end of June, in Cheonan.
People may wonder the source of the organization’s funding. Two kinds of resources are needed to build a house: construction materials and manpower. The family who moves into new habitat needs to pay back prime cost of construction in installments over a set period. However, this fee is interest free and is about 60 percent of general cost of construction. This accounts for 16 percent of total income of Habitat for Humanity Korea. Most of its income comes from donations from companies, individuals, governments, churches, and from abroad. In terms of manpower, the beneficiary must participate in the construction along with volunteers.