Habitat for Humanity Ireland

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Official Habitat for Humanity Ireland logo

Habitat for Humanity Ireland is a nonprofit development organisation which seeks to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. Its vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

In more than 70 countries around the world, including Ireland, Habitat for Humanity engages families and communities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; advocates for fair and just housing policies; and provides training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. It aims to make housing a matter of conscience and action by providing a local solution that works in partnership with families and communities in need, and by supporting the global mission of Habitat for Humanity International.

Habitat for Humanity does not build houses for people; it builds with them. It works with homeowners and volunteers to construct, renovate or refurbish homes, using donations of money, land and materials. Once completed, houses are sold to partner families at no profit, providing a hand up, rather than a hand out.

Since being founded in 1976, HFH International has built more than 1 million homes worldwide,[1] providing simple decent and affordable shelter for more than 5 million people in over 70 countries.

Habitat for Humanity Ireland runs both a "Global Village" programme which sends team of volunteers abroad, as well as a "Local Programme" based in Dublin.


Early in 2001, a group ofindividuals and representatives of churches and housing organisations from Dublin became interested in Habitat's fight against poverty housing. In June 2002, a core group headed to Durban, South Africa, for the Jimmy Carter Work Project to experience the work of Habitat for Humanity firsthand. Upon their return, they formed a steering board and started an affiliation process.

In November 2002, Habitat for Humanity International's founder, Millard Fuller and his wife Linda, met with President Mary McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin. On the same day the international board of directors approved the formation of Habitat for Humanity Ireland in Belfast.


Habitat's mission statement is to "eliminate poverty housing in Ireland and around the world and to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action".


Habitat developed several partnerships in Ireland through its Local Programme, as well as overseas through the Global Village Programme.

Sole Patron[edit]

In June 2012 it was announced that President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins had agreed to be sole patron of Habitat for Humanity Ireland.[2]

Corporate Supporters[edit]

Among many supporters in Ireland are such corporations as Bank of America, Whirlpool Corporation, EBS Building Society, Wells Fargo, Salesforce.com and Citigroup.

High Profile Supporters[edit]

High-profile supporters include Brent Pope,[3] Bobby Kerr[4] and TV personality Baz Ashmawy.[5]

Local Partnerships[edit]

Habitat for Humanity has also partnered with local bodies and organisations, through its "A Brush With Kindness" programme, such as Don Bosco Teenage Care,[6] Dublin City Council, and St. Michael's House.

Ongoing Programmes[edit]

Global Village[edit]

Since 2004 Habitat for Humanity Ireland has sent 2,300 volunteers abroad through its "Global Village" programme. Volunteers today build with Habitat affiliates in many locations on Global Village Trips. After having gone through training, trip leaders organise travel plans with the support of the Habitat staff. Volunteers are then able to register for trips online. Teams generally number between eight and fifteen, with trips usually lasting between nine and fourteen days. The volunteers build houses with other HFH affiliates around the world in countries including Haiti, Zambia, Ghana, Mozambique, India, Cambodia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Hungary and Romania.[7] Habitat Ireland is currently in a 3-year partnership with Irish Aid in Zambia.[8] This project includes building homes, educating communities and an Orphans and Vulnerable Children Programme.[9]

Local Programme[edit]

Habitat for Humanity Ireland also runs a "Local Programme", which partners with local organisations[10] and authorities[11] in Dublin to build and renovate houses in partnership with low-income families in Dublin and its suburbs. In 2012 the Local Programme project took place in Inchicore, Dublin. It received national press coverage[12][13][14] when president of Ireland Michael D. Higgins visited the site and the homeowner families in April 2012, including a feature on RTÉ Six One News.[15] In 2014 Habitat renovated two properties in Dublin 1. New families the Rahmans[16] and the Mahons [17] received their keys with a homeowner dedication ceremony.[18]

A Brush With Kindness[edit]

The "A Brush with Kindness" programme[19] is a grassroots lead initiative that brings together charities with commonly held goals to build healthy, resilient communities. The A Brush With Kindness programme partners with like minded organisations to renovate or refurbish their housing facilities for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly. This initiative enables partners to increase their capacity to deliver their services while they work towards Habitat's vision of creating a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Throughout the work the wider community is engaged in the process and actively contributes their time, money and talent to support the project. This encourages active, inclusive citizenship and promotes understanding among and between different sections of society.

Previous ABWK partners have been St. Michael’s House, Don Bosco Teenage Care, A.L.O.N.E. and Cheshire Ireland.

Development Education Programme[edit]

The "development education" programme is a focus of Habitat Ireland’s advocacy efforts. It works with schools[20] to educate students on the effect poverty housing has on a family's life and helps students explore the symptoms and the root causes of housing poverty. At the same time, students are invited to explore how they can be the change they want to see in the world.

Learning and Development Programme[edit]

The "learning and development" programme is aimed at creating partnership with local and international corporations. It serves as an opportunity to build teams, invest in the local community and boost staff morale. This 2-day event, which caters for all levels and skills within a company, is designed to ensure that corporate groups work and learn through team building activities off site and practical tasks onsite in Habitat homes in Dublin. It can also cater for groups seeking a shorter programme duration.

To date Habitat for Humanity Ireland has successfully partnered with over 100 multinational and local companies, including Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Whirlpool Corporation, CitiGroup, Allied Irish Banks (AIB), Vodafone, Salesforce.com and Clancourt Management, to make a difference on both local and global projects.

Annual Events[edit]

Brent Pope Rugby Legends Tour[edit]

In 2010, Brent Pope (rugby analyst) set up the Brent Pope Rugby Legends Foundation in partnership Habitat for Humanity Ireland. Brent has visited Zambia twice with the foundation, being accompanied by rugby legend Malcolm O'Kelly in June 2011[21] and by Liam Toland, Paddy Johns and Angus McKeen in June 2012.[22][23] In September 2013 Brent and Paddy Johns traveled to Argentina with rugby fans and supporters.[24]

Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project[edit]

Former US President Jimmy Carter became involved with Habitat for Humanity International in 1984 and has since become its most high-profile proponent. He has been involved in fund-raising and publicity as well as actual homebuilding, taking part in the annual Jimmy Carter Work Project "blitz build".[25] Every year, Habitat for Humanity Ireland sends volunteers to join participants from around the world on the build.


  1. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/2014/12/annual-report/
  2. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/michael-d-higgins/
  3. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/brent-pope/
  4. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/bobby-kerr/
  5. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/baz-ashmawy/
  6. ^ http://www.teenagecare.ie/
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  8. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/2014/12/habitat-ireland-partnership-irish-aid/
  9. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/ovc-zambia/
  10. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/press/partnership-completion/
  11. ^ http://www.dublincity.ie/Housing/Pages/Housing.aspx
  12. ^ "How a volunteer scheme is finding housing solutions for Ireland". Thejournal.ie. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Joy for families as derelict sites become homes – National News". Independent.ie. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Humanity homes get presidential seal – The Irish Times – Tue, Apr 17, 2012". The Irish Times. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "President Higgins welcomes Dublin housing initiative". RTÉ News. 16 April 2012. 
  16. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/stories/homeowner-stories/md-and-helena-rahman/
  17. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/2014/11/daryl-becomes-habitat-ireland-homeowner/
  18. ^ https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/sweaty-equity-earns-family-keys-to-their-new-dublin-home-1.2015805
  19. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/a-brush-with-kindness/
  20. ^ "Habitat for Humanity Ireland Schools Programme". Habitatireland.ie. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  21. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/rugby-legends-trip-2011/
  22. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/legends-in-zambia-june-2012/
  23. ^ http://www.leinsterrugby.ie/domestic/newsroom/10089.php
  24. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/open-and-closed-teams/brent-pope-rugby-legends-in-argentina/
  25. ^ http://www.habitat.org/how/default_jcwp.aspx

External links[edit]