Galway volunteers urged to sign up for Build It Week in Haiti

Join George Hook for Build It Week in Haiti this October.

Join George Hook for Build It Week in Haiti this October.

Irish NGO Haven, and George Hook, will visit Galway tomorrow (Friday ) in an effort to recruit volunteers for the organisation’s Build It Week in Haiti. This will be the last time the event takes place in its current format.

As the first volunteer to sign up to Haven’s building programme, George Hook is fronting the charity’s 100 Volunteers for Haiti campaign, for the final Build It Week.

This recruitment drive sees the rugby pundit and radio broadcaster travel all over Ireland during the month of June, asking well known sports people and the general public to support Haven at home or to take on the Build It Week challenge and travel with him to the country, which was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010.

The NGO is appealing for 100 new recruits to sign up and take part in this life-changing trip at the end of October, to help build houses for some of the poorest people in the western hemisphere.

George Hook will join the Haven team in the Carlton Hotel tomorrow (Friday ) at 6.30pm. The organisation is encouraging people who have never been to Haiti, as well as veteran volunteers, to come along to the event.

“We want this to be a really fun night,” said Anne Maguire, Haven’s operations director. “We are encouraging people to come out to meet George, and the Haven team, and our volunteers. We want to share stories about Build It Week, and encourage people to sign up to travel to Haiti. Don’t forget this is the last Build It Week, as we know it, so this is your last chance to get involved.”

This will be Haven’s second building mission this year, following a successful trip in April which saw 360 volunteers complete 80 houses in just one week.

“I am very proud to be involved with Haven’s Build It Week project and am committed to helping Haitian families that are in desperate need of safe and affordable housing,” said Hook. “More importantly, I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to these communities.

“At the end of the week, we leave Haiti knowing that we have played a part in putting a roof over a family’s head. That is a very satisfying feeling. You aren’t walking away but rather leaving behind a legacy that will be a home to that family for generations. I hope that the people of Galway will join me on my last mission.”

Ms McGuire said the organisation is hoping to recruit 100 people to travel to Haiti in October. “With the support of George Hook and the hundreds of devoted Haven volunteers, this Build It Week will result not only in better housing for families who urgently need it in Haiti, but also to better training and education programmes,” she added. “Decent shelter helps transform lives and entire communities, and we’re grateful for George Hook’s relentless commitment.”

Haven is appealing to Galway men and women from all walks of life to volunteer, and make this last Build It Week the trip of a lifetime. While in Haiti volunteers will live and work on a building site in very basic conditions.

The group will sleep in tents, on canvas camp beds, sharing with up to five others. They will labour through extreme tropical conditions, and work alongside Haven’s Haitian workforce to build homes for those living without the basic human right of adequate shelter.

Volunteers must raise a minimum of €4,500 to take part in the trip. This will cover all expenses including flights, food, accommodation, and insurance; the remainder will be donated directly to the building project.

Haven was set up by Irish businessman Leslie Buckley in January 2009. The NGO is working solely in Haiti, building houses and sustainable communities, while providing emergency relief in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake which killed 230,000 people and left 1.5 million people homeless. A massive 680,000 displaced people are still living in these campsites.

All of Haven’s projects in Port au Prince and rural Haiti will continue despite the conclusion of the Build It Week programme.

The NGO will now focus all future investment in the development of both current and future programmes on the ground, creating sustainable employment for local Haitian communities to work with Haven in the delivery of all projects

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