Habitat for Humanity last week helped renovated its third home for a refugee family in rural NSW.
Volunteers with the organisation travelled to a small farming community near Tenterfield on the NSW/QLD border to work with community members to renovate the house which will accommodate a refugee family.
“The local community has sadly been in decline and there’s been a real push to encourage more families to move to the area,” said Dean Hart, Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity NSW. “Local farmers have generously provided houses, but because they have been disused for some time they required some work.”
Over three days volunteers joined together to help paint, and repair the house, alongside the beneficiary family who will move in at the end of the month.
Mr Hart explained that the family of nine came to Australia from a farming community in the Congo as refugees around five years ago. They initially settled in Adelaide but were eager to relocate to a rural community and pursue work in the farming sector, as they did back in Congo.
“The contribution the Habitat team has made including providing products such as paint, stove, pink batts and the labour component, all helps make it possible for this deserving refugee family make a new life for themselves in Australia,” said a local farmer who provided the home for the family.
This work builds on a project Habitat for Humanity commenced earlier this year where local volunteers helped renovate two other houses for refugee families.
“When these two families moved to the area, the local school – which previously closed due to no enrolments – was able to reopen to accommodate children from the families,” said Habitat for Humanity CEO, Martin Thomas. “The change in the community has been significant.”
Habitat for Humanity NSW is working with Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development International (GLAPD), an African community group as well as local farms and partner organisations to help more African refuge families who would also like to relocate to rural communities.