Brad Saum, an RV Care-A-Vanner volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Americus

Everyone needs a decent place to live. A simple vision that started on a community farm in southern Georgia and has now blossomed to serve in over 70 countries as Habitat for Humanity.

"Strength - We work alongside homeowners around the world to build and improve the places they call home, creating strong foundations where their families can thrive."
“Strength – We work alongside homeowners around the world to build and improve the places they call home, creating strong foundations where their families can thrive.”

My experiences volunteering with Habitat for Humanity have been rewarding. As I journey towards Florida to volunteer on another build, it was fitting for a slight detour to Americus, Georgia. I had to check out Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village and Discovery Center.

The Global Village and Discovery Center in Americus, Georgia starts with a walk through poverty housing in the form of a settlement.
The Global Village and Discovery Center in Americus, Georgia starts with a walk through poverty housing in the form of a settlement.

The primary mission of this facility is to educate people about Habitat. Dispelling common misconceptions such as houses are just given away for free helps everyone better understand the mission of Habitat.

Where ever you go, go with all your heart.

Confucius

People all over the world partner with Habitat for Humanity. They must demonstrate a need and currently be living in sub-standard housing. They are offered training and education about home ownership and finances. They must work alongside volunteers to build their new home and then pay an affordable mortgage.

Habitat for Humanity has been building earthquake resistant housing in Guatemala since 1979.
Habitat for Humanity has been building earthquake resistant housing in Guatemala since 1979.

I enter Habitat’s Global Village and walk right into a reconstructed settlement of shacks as an example of how some people live in absolute poverty. These poorly built shelters are constructed of scrap metal, wood pallets, and other discarded materials. It is difficult to imagine living in these cramped and unsafe conditions. A dirt floor and leaky roof distract from the lack of running water and other basic necessities.

Habitat volunteers have been building in Sri Lanka since 2009.
Habitat volunteers have been building in Sri Lanka since 2009.

After a brief stroll through the substandard housing, there are houses of various designs lining the walkway. These are examples of the types of houses Habitat for Humanity builds around the world. Each house is built with local materials and in a manner to be affordable.

The Cinva-Ram Brick Press makes blocks from local materials and are used to build many Habitat for Humanity houses.
The Cinva-Ram Brick Press makes blocks from local materials and are used to build many Habitat for Humanity houses.

The Global Village has houses from places such as Guatemala, Haiti, Zambia, India, Malawi and 10 other countries. All the houses are furnished and open to walk through. The contrast to the poverty shacks in the initial settlement is overwhelming. The simplicity of the these new houses so desired and needed around the world is still strikingly modest from housing most of us know.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to volunteer and I am honored to be a very small part of Habitat for Humanity. It is inspiring and fulfilling to spend time alongside others making simple yet incremental contributions for the benefit of others.

RVing Revealed

Please feel free to follow/connect with Brad Saum:

Interested in Habitat for Humanity? Check out Habitat.org or the RV Care-A-Vanners.

Interested in Work Camping? Check out these resources to find both paid and volunteer work camping opportunities: Work Camping