HFH Singapore started in 2004 with one full-time staff. By end 2009, HFH Singapore is fully staffed with a full-time National Director and a team of 7 persons. Since its inception just crossing its second year anniversary, HFH Singapore has mobilised various teams of volunteers for building projects and disaster response to these countries, China – Mongolia, India, Indonesia - Aceh (tsunami), Batam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand.
Global Village Programme
Habitat Singapore sends volunteers to work with other Habitat offices around various parts of the world for building projects. These countries include Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, East Malaysia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam. The Global Village programme is an initiative to allow Singaporeans a chance to contribute to eliminating poverty housing on an international scale as well as help them gain experience in different working cultures. Global Village programmes last longer than short builds, for typically 7 days or more, so that the work will have more significant impact.
Batam Build Programme
The Batam Build (BB) programme has the same objectives as Global Village, except that it comprises of short builds in Batam that ranges from 1 day to a maximum of 3 days. The Batam Build programme aims to allow volunteers who may not have the financial ability nor the time an opportunity to contribute to building houses for the poor.
HFH Singapore believes in her Christian mission to show love, and her social responsibility to neighbouring countries and the world at large. As such, HFH Singapore aids in the rebuilding work of countries struck by calamities such as natural disasters by providing funds, manpower, and technical expertise. In 2005, HFH Singapore sent teams to participate in a post-tsunami building project in Indonesia, Aceh. In 2008, about 1700 houses were built, made possible by a $14.3 million (SGD) donation from the Singapore Red Cross, and an additional $0.8 million (SGD) that was raised by HFH Singapore.
Bare Your Sole
The Asia Pacific region is home to 60 percent of the world’s slum dwellers. 554 million of these people live in slums and informal housing, lacking access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Many of the children living in such poor areas typically work in the streets, deprived of proper footwear. A portion of these street children do not wear footwear and are exposed to dangers of being cut by glass or infected with diseases when pricked by used injection syringes.
Bare Your Sole aims to raise funds for Habitat Singapore’s work as well as raise awareness of the plight of children living in poverty housing by giving Singaporeans a chance to experience the lives of children living in poverty by engaging them in a marathon barefoot walk.
Many elderly and handicapped people live alone in houses that are cluttered and sometimes unhygienic. Habitat’s ‘Operation Homeworks’ engages volunteers to clean, clear clutter, remove pests, replace broken down furniture and bedding to improve the safety and sanitation of the homes of the elderly and handicapped monthly. Operation Homeworks has benefited more than 200 elderly and disabled peoples' homes to date with the help of more than 1,200 volunteers. This project was well received by MediaCorp who reported during the news broadcasts in all their TV channels.
Hope Builder Programme
HFH Singapore embarked on our “Hope Builder” program in 2007 as a move to increase our efforts to serve more families, and to diversify our source of donations. HopeBuilders give monthly to our cause, and they form the foundation of our work around the world. HopeBuilders provide HFH Singapore a stable and reliable source of funding that allows us to progress into larger humanitarian scale of things.
How does it work?
Through volunteer labour and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor -- sweat equity -- into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
How much does a Habitat house cost?
Throughout the world, the cost of houses varies from as little as US$800 in some developing countries to an average of US$59,324 in the United States.
Habitat houses are affordable for low-income families because there is no profit included in the sale price and no interest charged on the mortgage. Mortgage length varies from seven to 30 years.
How are the partner families selected?
Families in need of decent shelter apply to local Habitat affiliates. The affiliate's family selection committee chooses homeowners based on their level of need, their willingness to become partners in the program and their ability to repay the no-interest loan. Every affiliate follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing the families who receive Habitat houses.
How are donations distributed and used?
Donations, whether to a local Habitat affiliate or to HFH, are used as designated by the donor. Gifts received by HFH that are designated to a specific affiliate or building project are forwarded to that affiliate or project.