From 6th to 11th August 2012, 158 volunteers will join as Peace Builders to help build 24 houses for families living in Pathayamwatte village, in the Western Province of Sri Lanka, approximately 40 km from Colombo. One of the 24 houses will be built prior to the arrival of the volunteers.
These 24 low-income families, who named themselves the Society of Landless Families, neither own land nor a house. They are currently living in dilapidated and sub-standardhousing conditions with limited sanitation facilities. Many were severely affected by the 2004 tsunami. The families work as fishermen, day laborers, carpenters, mechanics, etc., and earn an average of 500-800 Sri Lankan rupees (US$5-$8) per day. Members in each family only get to work 18 or 20 days a month due to the monsoon season, heavy rains or a lack of work.
The Society of Landless Families approached many organizations seeking support to help them come out of these poverty conditions. The group is affiliated with a local nongovernment organization called Janabodaya Kendraya, which is based in Negombo. With the NGO’s help, the families succeeded in purchasing a plot of land in Pathayamwatte, Katana, Negombo. The land was then sub-divided into smaller plots and distributed among the 24 families.
The Society of Landless Families believes ―Unity Is Power. At the advice of Janabodaya Kendraya, they approached Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka for assistance in building 24 new and safe and decent homes. These are the houses that will be constructed during Rebuild Sri Lanka.
Each Rebuild Sri Lanka home, measuring 28 sq. m. (300 sq. ft), will be built with burnt bricks and feature a tiled roof and verandah. The houses will each have a living area/bedroom, a kitchen, a toilet, a 20-feet-deep. tube well with hand pump and a 500-liter water tank. The foundation for each house will be 46 sq. m. (500 sq. ft.). in size so that families will be able to extend the house over time. Also, each land plot will have an area for a home garden. The community center will be an area for meetings, educational activities and host visits from the provincial Family Health Officer. In addition, a small playground will be built for the village children.