Over One Million Served

Care to explore another nation and lend a hand through Habitat? Macomb County residents are in Nicaragua!

Since 1976 Habitat for Humanity has expanded to over 80 countries, 40 of whom can host international volunteers. We are part of a movement that has impacted over a million families, stabilizing economies one family at a time across the world. The Global Village program is one way to experience another culture and give back to those less fortunate. Volunteers give hands-on help in a different cultural setting, using local building methods and tools, rubbing elbows with others from around the world to build decent, affordable homes. All local arrangements – food, lodging, transportation, translators (if needed), and cultural activities – are taken care of for the teams. Volunteers just need to arrive on the right day at the right airport for the experience to start.

Since 2007, Thrivent Financial has encouraged its members and others to join forces with Habitat through their Thrivent Builds Worldwide trips. Over 1,000 teams have traveled under the Thrivent banner, to make an impact in North America and around the world. Thrivent benefit members get a subsidy for their expenses, and Thrivent makes a significant extra donation to help the international affiliate build homes.

Macomb County residents are part of a large team of 24, co-led by Dave Tirsell and Jolene Hartwig, headed to Esteli, Nicaragua for a week in February to build two “seed” homes for families whose incomes are $100-200 a month. Those are complete structures that are half a house, designed for families to add to when their finances allow. Each home comes with installed electrical, water, an “Eco-toilet” and shower, a metal roof and concrete floor. The seed home design means more families can get started with homeownership compared to full sized structures.

Volunteers serve as mason’s assistants – mixing and moving cement, laying block, tying rebar and other tasks to complete the walls and floor in a week. While volunteers are in place, the homeowner family gives sweat equity hours, and Habitat Nicaragua provides a box of food to feed the family, as they recognize that missed work time means a family has no funds to feed themselves. Teams also do some touring and experience local culture in a variety of ways.

Interested in knowing more on how you can experience Habitat in other settings? Contact Dave Tirsell at dtirsell@macombhabitat.org. This is Dave’s 12th trip building homes in 10 different countries.

New trips are posted regularly. Here is a link to the Global Village trip schedule: http://www.habitat.org/volunteer/travel-and-build/global-village

A link to Thrivent Builds Worldwide options: https://www.thrivent.com/making-a-difference/living-generously/thrivent-builds/join-trip.html

And a video on the impact of Team 1000 from Thrivent Financial to Romania: https://www.thrivent.com/offers/TEAM1000.html