SYDNEY (March. 02, 2020)—Habitat for Humanity International announced it is suspending its Global Village volunteer builds at least through May 2 as a proactive measure to minimize the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission among volunteers and in the communities it serves. Habitat is also suspending international travel for its staff. It’s with a heavy heart and sadness that our Impact Build 2020 and Team in the North Build have been postponed to a later date this year.
“Habitat for Humanity is prioritising the safety of our volunteers, staff and the people in the communities in which we serve,” said Mark Andrews, senior vice president for international operations of Habitat for Humanity International. “Many of our Global Village builds take place in communities that may not be equipped to address an outbreak of the coronavirus. We must take caution to not potentially expose these vulnerable communities to the virus through accidental transmission from our volunteer or staff teams. We also want to reduce risk to our staff and volunteers who may otherwise have been at increased exposure through their travels.”
Volunteers affected by this suspension are being contacted and will be offered assistance in changing their travel plans. The decision impacts more than 1,350 volunteers on 138 scheduled Global Village builds.
Habitat for Humanity works in more than 70 countries around the world. Habitat has been facilitating international volunteer builds through its Global Village program since 1989. More than 12,000 volunteers participated in a Global Village build in fiscal year 2019. The program brings volunteers from around the world to build safe, decent and affordable homes alongside future homeowners in more than 30 countries.
“We look forward to resuming international travel and our Global Village builds as soon as we are safely able,” Andrews said. “We thank our team of volunteers and staff for their continued dedication to Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”