“My advice to anyone who participates in a Habitat for Humanity Global Village Trip, is to go into it with an open mind…”
Simon’s Habitat for Humanity volunteer story spans 8 countries and 4 continents. A regular on our Pinery Road build site 4 – 5 days a week, his commitment as a volunteer crew leader speaks volumes about his dedication to giving families a hand up through affordable homeownership.
When you speak to Simon about being a volunteer with Habitat GTA, you can hear the pride in his voice as he shares what it means to him. Especially when he tells you stories about volunteering abroad with Habitat Global Villages around the world. Like his most recent trip to Fiji.
Simon went to Fiji on a Global Village Trip in 2017. He teamed up with volunteers from Canada, the United States and the local community to build a home for a family – Mere, her son and her granddaughter who were living under a damaged roof. Recently destroyed by a vicious cyclone, the family was living in a home with a half blown off roof and a weak structure that caused frequent leaking and was in need of serious repair. To make matters worse, Mere’s husband passed away earlier in the year, and she was finding it difficult to come up with money to fix her family’s home.
“I remember the smile on Mere’s face when we would arrive each morning to work on her home.” Simon says when reflecting on the trip. “She always made sure we were well fed and hydrated. It was truly a team effort.”
Simon will never forget the delicious home cooked lunches Mere prepared over the open fire for them each day. For Simon, a Global Village trip provides an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way, volunteer with new and old friends, and have a lasting impact on a family’s life as well as his own. The kind of trip that you would never experience within the confines of a resort.
Once the home was complete, the entire community came together for the dedication ceremony to sing traditional songs, dance and celebrate Mere’s new home. Mere and her family now have decent shelter that is safe and secure from future natural disasters. This is something Simon will never forget being a part of.
If you are interested in working with families to strengthen their community and enrich both their lives and your own, click here to learn more about Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program.