Habitat for Humanity, Dow Brazil, Whirlpool, Caixa and Guarujá City Hall Deliver Houses for 32 Underprivileged Families in Brazil
More than 150 people living in risky situations will beneficiated will decent and safer houses in Pae Cará neighborhood, Vicente de Carvalho District, Guarujá
GUARUJÁ, Brazil - October 04, 2010
The 32 houses that are part of Vila Nova Esperança Project, which will benefit approximately 150 people living in risky situations on the banks of Rio Acaraú, in Pae Cará neighborhood (district of Vicente de Carvalho, Guarujá), were inaugurated on September 28th, in an open celebration gathering all partners involved in the project: Habitat for Humanity Brazil, Dow Brazil, Caixa Econômica Federal (federal savings and housing loams bank), Guarujá's Local Government, and Whirlpool.
"We have a very special regard for Vicente de Carvalho's community since Dow has been operating in Guarujá since 1971. Vila Nova Esperança Project, in which we counted on the valuable support of Guarujá's local government, Caixa Econômica Federal, and Whirlpool, is highly strategic for us because it is consistent with two critical pillars of our 2015 Sustainability Goals: contributing to community success and addressing the world's most pressing challenges - in this case, access to decent housing conditions," says Pedro Suarez, Dow president for Latin America.
Vila Nova Esperança, the first joint project between Dow and Habitat for Humanity in Latin America, also marked the celebration of house number 100,000 built in the region by the NGO. "This is a significant milestone that consolidates our operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to providing underprivileged families with decent housing conditions, we show, in practical terms, that partnerships among non-profit organizations, governments and the private sector can actually change the society for the better," says Jonathan Reckford, global CEO of Habitat for Humanity.
Whirlpool, in addition to contributing to the completion of the project, donated Consul-branded stoves and refrigerators for all 32 houses, and will be implementing a social project in Vila Nova Esperança aimed at generating income for the families. Through its Consulado da Mulher project, the company will open a community laundry in the area that will allow the residents to organize themselves to have a paid activity that will benefit all those involved in it.
During the inauguration event, the mayor of Guarujá, Maria Antonieta de Brito, congratulated all partners and said that Vila Nova Esperança Project sets new standards in terms of socially-conscious public-private partnerships. "This project represents the kind of corporate vision and collaboration we are seeking in our city. When we have partnerships like this one, we can turn hard reality into beautiful stories - just like we're doing today," said the mayor.
VILA NOVA ESPERANÇA
The project works started in 2007 and the families were selected by Guarujá's local government based on high social risk situations. The 1,915-square meter plot of land, donated by the local government, is now home to eight buildings with four housing units each, in addition to a common area, parking lot, arborization, and two bike parking lots - bicycles are an important means of transportation in the city. The residents will have access to a complete water, sewage and electric power system, in addition to paved streets, garbage collection services and public transportation.
The 32 houses part of Vila Nova Esperança Project measure approximately 42 square meters divided into two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a service area. The houses were built with soil-cement bricks, a more sustainable option compared to the traditional bricks since they do not require deforestation nor the burning of coal or other fuel in its manufacturing.
Additionally, the "ecological brick" reduces the quantity of construction debris and provides houses with a better thermal comfort, what helps control expenses with electric power. This was the first time Habitat deployed this technology in Brazil.
An important part of the construction process was the engagement of volunteers throughout all building works. NGOs, schools, universities (from both Brazil and abroad) and private companies - among which Dow and Whirlpool - helped Habitat for Humanity through work groups in the construction sites and in the community integration activities as well.
Following the "social awareness raising concept" it adopts worldwide, Habitat for Humanity Brazil held workshops for the families on the concept of community life and run a course on Financial Literacy, through which it taught important concepts about citizenship principles and how to manage family budgets.
Besides the partnership in Guarujá, Habitat for Humanity and Dow are also working on a project focused on revitalizing Salvador's historic center, in the state of Bahia. With the support of the state and local governments, new houses and a community center are being built in Morro da Rocinha, in the heart of Pelourinho.
Habitat for Humanity has been a global partner of Dow since 1983. Thousands of homes have been constructed or revitalized by Dow and Habitat for Humanity all over the world during the past 27 years.
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