India – Building new homes for families

In 2013, 78 volunteers from Prudential UK’s Mumbai team spent 624 hours working with Habitat for Humanity India to help build and decorate durable, permanent homes for tribal families in the Karjat region of Maharashtra state.

The families supported were living in dilapidated homes that were structurally unsound and unsuitable and the project provided much-needed housing and support services in the area, as well as increased stability for families and children.

Some 198 volunteers also took part in tree-planting activities to encourage the local community to become environmentally sustainable. This included digging pits, preparing compost, planting saplings and erecting tree guards. The saplings were selected by the families according to their needs and were planted on their land. In total 372 saplings were planted by the volunteers. As a result of the project, families in the area realised the importance of preserving the environment and taking steps towards self-sufficiency in providing for the nutritional and sustenance needs of their children and families.

Amardeep Grover, PPMS’s On-Site Support Manager, says: “Our association with Habitat for Humanity started in 2012 with a tree plantation drive. House-building activity was introduced in 2013, as a number of families cannot afford this basic necessity in life. It was good to see the enthusiasm of the volunteers, who took this opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.

“At a personal level, I feel happy to be working for an organisation which encourages its employees to volunteer. Being there in person has greater impact and results in repeat participation. The house-building event was hard work, and in the summer season. The reward, in the gratitude expressed by the villagers, made me forget all the pain. This was an experience that will be etched in my memory for years to come.”

Over the next three years, Habitat for Humanity India aims to help more than 500 families in the area by providing access to improved housing and sanitation. The charity will continue to promote volunteer projects in the region to provide families with housing, support services, tree planting and other environmentally friendly activities.

Prudential funding will be used to continue employee volunteer building projects to ensure that all tribal families in the region have safe and decent housing. This will significantly help to alleviate poverty in the area and pave the way for sustainability and prosperity for the families.

78 Prudential volunteers help build permanent homes for tribal families in India