Banbridge man Dean Lovell is calling on people within the local community to get involved with Habitat NI after he had a rewarding experience volunteering earlier this year.
His call comes ahead of Habitat NI launching their volunteering opportunities for 2014.
Dean travelled to Ethiopia in June 2013 as part of a Habitat Global Village volunteer team to help build homes.
“Volunteering with Habitat NI was one of best experiences of my life,” Dean said. “It was so rewarding to be part of a team and work alongside the future homeowner families.
“It gave me a true sense of how something so simple as a decent home can have a huge impact on a family.”
In 2014, Habitat NI have similar volunteer opportunities open to any individual or small group to destinations including Ethiopia, Cambodia, South Africa and Romania.
Special builds including a Women Build in India are also being organised. This unique event will bring together women from all over the world to work beside local women and learn about the impact of poverty housing first hand.
Speaking about his experience in Ethiopia, Dean explained: “It soon became clear that we weren’t just building homes, we were giving them the hand up they needed to build their own way out of poverty.
“It reaffirmed the unique impact of Habitat’s work on vulnerable people. I would thoroughly encourage everyone in the local community to get involved in this life changing experience and volunteer with Habitat NI in 2014.”
Over the past 12 years more than 4,000 people from across Northern Ireland have travelled as Global Village volunteers to some of the world’s poorest communities to help families in desperate need of safe, decent shelter build their way out of poverty.
As well as teams where individuals can join, every year groups from schools, churches, businesses or family and friends form their own team and embark on the volunteer journey together.
Habitat is hosting information sessions for individuals or groups interested in finding out more.
The next session will take place on Thursday, November 21 at 7.30pm at Habitat ReStore, Riverside Centre, Lisburn.
Other dates and full details of the 2014 opportunities are available at www.habitatni.co.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to find out more about how you can support Habitat’s work by fundraising or making a donation please visit habitatni.co.uk or call 028 92 635 635.