A few years ago Curt McCallum discovered the Forest City Community Church. No stranger to church as a youth, life had a way of interfering and his attendance lapsed over the years. The older he got though, the more Curt questioned his faith and made the choice to return to church. Part of his faith journey led him to question his role in the greater universe, and ways he could give back. The opportunity to be a part of a mission trip to Paraguay to build houses for those in need was the perfect answer.
Located in the heart of South America, Paraguay has a population of approximately 6.5 million people. An estimated 2 million Paraguayans live below the poverty line, with 15.5% of the population living in extreme poverty. Paraguay has the sad distinction of being the third poorest country in South America with 38% of people of working aged unemployed. That puts housing out of reach for many. Of the housing that does exist, many of those homes offer inadequate or unsafe living conditions with roughly 47% of the urban population living without water service.¹
Habitat for Humanity aims to change that.
Habitat for Humanity Paraguay
Habitat for Humanity works around the world to provide a hand up to those in need by building safe, decent and affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity International was formed in 1976 and the movement spread to Canada in 1985. By 1998, Habitat for Humanity Paraguay was officially established. Since then, 2400 families have benefited from the program in Paraguay.
While each country has its own way of operating, the mission is simple—to improve living conditions for people. In Paraguay, that mission offers traditional and alternative living solutions, with the option to build a traditional structure, a progressive home, or to repair or improve an existing home.
Habitat for Humanity’s services aren’t free. Families must apply to the program, and have at least a 10% down payment on the build. They require satisfactory credit, must prove the ability to pay back the loan over 1-7 years, and are expected to put in their own sweat equity during the build. The sweat equity is spread around though, as that is where volunteers like Curt come in.
Mission Trip Opportunity
Part of a journey into becoming a believer is to look and listen to your surroundings and act when God asks for your help to help others. Sometimes there is silence and other times it’s as loud as a church bell. When it happens I get this warm feeling all over that is difficult to explain, but I just know that all involved are going to benefit. ~Curt McCallum
And benefit people will. A family will get the gift of a team of people arriving from London, Ontario to offer their own sweat equity. Curt and the members of the build from Forest City Community Church will spend nine days giving of themselves to help a family attain a decent home. Everyone on the team pays their own way, but they also raise donations from others to help the cause. All money raised helps to build even more homes. In case you were wondering, Curt would love it if You donated too.
The Mission trip runs from November 4th-13th, 2016, so time is of the essence. While Curt is excited for this trip of a lifetime, he needs your help to make sure his vision happens. All donations are welcome and anything over $20 is eligible for a tax receipt. Please dig deep. It means a lot to Curt, but even more to the people who benefit directly from this giving program.
Donate directly through the Habitat for Humanity page or by contacting Curt directly;
Habitat for Humanity: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/curt-mccallum/
Know that Curt appreciates all the help he gets.
¹ Data compiled from documents received from Habitat for Humanity & sourced from Consejo Nacional de Vivienda, Paraguay Government page of General Statistics, Unicef, & Habitat for Humanity Paraguay