Volunteers build houses for villagers

By Alina Lackerbauer ,

293 Hits

MEET THE TEAM: Malcolm Whalley (front center) with his team of volunteers building Samoan Fale’s for villagers.

MEET THE TEAM: Malcolm Whalley (front center) with his team of volunteers building Samoan Fale’s for villagers.

Nine volunteers from Australia and New Zealand are building a new fale for a woman from Nuu-fou. 

The project is financed by the non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing organization Habitat for Humanity in cooperation with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (A.D.R.A), a global humanitarian organization of theSeventh-Day Adventist Church. 

It is their goal to finish building 100 houses in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji by the end of November. 

Since Monday, two Australians and nine helpers from New Zealand have been working together with two local builders on constructing a new falefor a woman. The volunteers are not particularly experienced in building, but are rather retired farmers, paramedics or working in steel construction design. 

“We are all basically unskilled but willing to be upskilled,“ leader Malcolm Whalley reports about his team. 

The volunteers arrived to Faleolo Airport on Saturday and took over from the previous team, after enjoying the island and swimming at ToSua Ocean Trench. These tag teams have been doing the project for four months and are well on track to achieve the Samoan share of the 100 houses for Polynesia. 

After starting on Monday by digging 20 holes, the team is eager to finish the fale‘s by Friday. Its width measures  4.2 and its length 5.2 meters, just what the new house owner wished for. The  fale is completely designed according to the owners needs. Since the house will be used as a dress making studio, the team will incorporate flat steel walls and luva windows. 

As long as the weather allows them, the volunteers are working all day long. They are also facing different challenges concerning the building process. Rocks or open holes in  the ground can be hindering and require the team to work carefully.

The sun has led to sunblock being the workers‘  most important item apart from fluids, as some of them have already gotten quite sun burnt.

During the project it is not only essential to create new homes for the South Pacific Islands, but also for the volunteers to look out for personal safety and guarantee their well-being. Drinking a lot of water is therefore inevitable for working efficiently with great energy. 

The two organizations, Habitat ofHumanityand ADRA believe that everyone should have access to  fundamental needs such as living in their own homes. They bring volunteers from all over the world to morethan 70 countries and work together in order to create safe and affordable housing.

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia