Coleraine University team build a future for families in Ethiopia

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A student team from the University of Ulster will be travelling to Ethiopia this summer to help families living in poverty housing build their own home.

The students are travelling as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village programme which sends more than 300 volunteers from across Northern Ireland to work in some of the world’s poorest communities every year.

The university has been sending teams to help build communities in Ethiopia since 2005, and has been the catalyst for Habitat Northern Ireland’s long-term partnership with the country.

In urban regions of Ethiopia the majority of people live in cramped houses made of mud, sticks or thatch, with 90% of housing units based in slum areas. Families also face many critical health challenges including unclean water and exposure to harmful fumes from traditional but poorly installed kitchen stoves.

Since 2005 fundraising by the University teams has raised over £200,000. The funds have supported Habitat’s Bricks and Mortar campaign which has delivered 150 homes over the last three years, particularly helping vulnerable families affected by leprosy.

University of Ulster Chaplain, Fr. Raymond McCullagh, has travelled with the teams every year and has witnessed the life-changing experience of building alongside the families who will actually move into the home.

“I’ve seen first-hand the impact Global Village volunteering has on the students. It’s an enriching, humbling experience.

“Our cross community team will be working together towards the goal of helping to eradicate poverty housing, making a real difference in the lives of others.

“Habitat is not just about building houses; it aims to empower individuals, restore hope and rebuild communities by building homes for ownership alongside families in need.”

To help raise essential funds for their 2012 commitment the team are holding a Gala Ball at the Diamond Hall, Coleraine campus on Saturday, June 2.

To purchase tickets, which cost £40, please contact Fr Raymond McCullagh on: 02870124652 or 07739223293. Email: r.mccullagh@ulster.ac.uk