Housing improvement in Eben-Ezer (III)
Responding to a deeply felt need of the community of Los Platanitos, Habitat for Humanity Dominican Republic (HFHI-RD) implemented this project to provide basic sanitation to 30 families. 25 bathrooms were built, of which 5 facilities are shared by neighboring households. The project was launched with the creation of a Project Management Committee (PMC) with representatives from neighborhood organizations, women´s association and the local Church. This committee came together to select the 30 most deserving families so they could benefit from the initiative. The PMC effectively supervised the project at all stages, gradually gaining experience that now will be used to launch new projects within the community.
The 30 families became key actors who directly participated in the construction of their improvement and contributed at all stages of the process. Some neighbors also provided unskilled labour, while others collaborated to transport to each construction site the materials bought by HFHI-RD. A brigade of students of Architecture, Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) participated as volunteers during initial tasks of plotting, excavating and cementing foundations. HFHI-RD organized a program for technical training and assistance in order to enable community members - and especially participating families – to self-build their sanitary units, and develop construction skills that would be useful to continue improving their homes later on. A ceremony was organized beginning September to officially hand over the units to the families. Documents were signed that confirm that all facilities were received in due order. The written press frequently reported about the project´s progress and results, and a local television channel conducted a special programme to describe its impact. SELAVIP´s financial help made possible that HFHI-RD works for extremely poor families, a segment which it usually does not reach with conventional housing projects.