Hope and Healing

Partnerships: Simple math doesn’t add up

July 28, 2017blog

This is how a beautiful partnership was formed…

While I was visiting a new Habitat for Humanity build site in Ethiopia, I was introduced to a group of families that were described as the poorest in the community.

I pointed out that each of these “poorest” families had at least one member with a disability. It was one of those “aha” moments for the Ethiopian Director of Habitat for Humanity. In our conversation he said that their expertise was in providing shelter/homes. He wanted to continue to help these families but could not go beyond shelter. I said our expertise is in providing services – medical, community and educational – to families with disabilities.

A beautiful partnership was born. Together, we built 40 homes and 2 communal latrines in Ethiopia. Each of those 40 families with new homes also has access to health care, education, and community involvement through our Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program.

We can each do our best– keep to our expertise – and provide these families with a complete package.

And now, through this same partnership that started in Ethiopia — and with the support of donors like you — we are building 66 new homes in Malawi for families with disabilities. Again, each of those families will have health care, education, and access to livelihood programs through our CBR partner in Malawi.

And the good news continues! Habitat for Humanity will match donations, dollar-for-dollar, and a group of visionary cbm donors who believe in this project will also match the gift. That means that each $1 becomes $3.

A donation of $5,000 will build a $15,000 home… that’s what is needed to provide a safe and secure shelter for one of the poorest families in the world.

  • Each family will have access to ventilated latrines and washing stalls.
  • Each family will receive training and education in the areas of hygiene, financial literacy, and property and inheritance rights.
  • Each family will receive ongoing medical care and rehabilitation support.

My wife, Norilynn, is a math teacher. She’ll tell her students that one plus one plus one equals three.

I would argue that in development work, simple math doesn’t add up.Through partnerships like the one between Habitat for Humanity, visionary donors and cbm, the impact on the lives of families with disabilities equals far more than the sum of the parts.

That’s the new math I like!