This year, The Financial Times has chosen Habitat for Humanity as its season appeal charity partner. Each year, FT employees select Charity partners, and readers and corporate partners are encouraged to donate. This partnership will also increase awareness of our organisation through editorial coverage of our work.
Roula Khalaf, the deputy editor and head of the season appeal committee at FT said “The Financial Times is delighted to work with Habitat for Humanity for this year’s seasonal appeal. With 1.6 billion people around the world living in inadequate shelter, the global housing crisis cannot be overlooked. FT journalists will highlight Habitat for Humanity’s work in several countries to shed a light on housing poverty and homelessness”.
Over the course of our partnership with the Financial Times, we will provide FT journalists with a range of story opportunities – strong personal case studies, magazine features, political and expert interviews, video diaries and data stories.
In addition, we will offer all Financial Times employees opportunities to volunteer and help build or renovate a house alongside the families who will live there. The support of the Financial Times will help shine a spotlight on the global challenge of reducing housing inequality, and unlock new partnerships and supporters for our work, helping us make a difference to tens of thousands of lives around the world.
Telling the story of our charity’s impact
In the Middle East
FT reporters will have the opportunity to visit and tour Shatila and Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camps in Beirut, witness the challenging circumstances there, and see our renovation work first-hand. They will be able to meet families who were once living under extreme conditions, but whose lives have been made bearable through our support.
Journalists can also see where we have improved electricity supply and talk to refugees about the violence and fear that made them flee Syria, as well as the importance of having a place they can call home. We will also offer potential interviews with wealthy Lebanese expatriates in London about why they have contributed to our refugee fund.
Through our partnership, we will also offer FT journalists featrues on how we are transforming lives in the Ethiopian capital’s sprawling slums, which make up 70-80% of the city. FT reporters will be able to meet families who have benefited from the construction of new homes, renovations of family houses, and communal kitchens.
Ethiopian families will also keep video diaries of their daily lives and how the assistance of our local team has helped them. Exclusive features on Community meetings in Ethiopia, in which people exhibit passions for improving their lives, will also make interesting stories for FT journalists. In addition, more construction will be underway to report on.
We have pioneered housing micro-finance, working with financial institutions in Kenya, Uganda and Latin America to provide small loans for incremental housing improvements for tens of thousands of families. Donors have built and designed the projects, but local financial institutions have provided all the loan funds.
Affordable housing in the UK
We will also provide Financial Times journalists a feature on the lack of affordable housing in the UK, by looking at our construction of social homes in a Quaker meeting house in Tunbridge Wells, a wealthy corner of the country that suffers from housing deprivation, and the construction of flats for move-on accommodation in London.
Across the world, we help vulnerable people, especially women, assume their legal rights to housing, or we have helped push through government reforms to current legislation. We will offer journalists interviews with women in Bolivia, Tajikistan, Cambodia or Lesotho who have escaped persecution and prejudice by gaining access to land rights.
Energy efficiency in Eastern Europe
With the seasonal appeal charity partnerships, journalists will visit Soviet-era apartment blocks in Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina or Macedonia undergoing vital energy efficiency renovations.
There, residents have been mired in “energy poverty” – spending up to 40% of their income on energy, severely limiting their options. Reporters will meet families and young people in their 20s or 30s who struggle with the impacts of high energy costs.
Disaster resilient homes in the Philippines
We will offer FT reporters the chance to visit Silay City to see how Habitat for Humanity is working with local governments in the Philippines to pioneer large scale construction of houses made from bamboo and concrete – a technology that is cheaper, greener and more resilient to winds and earthquakes.
The scale of the global housing crisis
Tum Kazunga, chief executive of Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen by the Financial Times for its seasonal appeal. Problems of inequality, lack of affordability and homelessness loom large in too many places. We’re really excited to work with FT journalists and tell stories that demonstrate the global scale of the housing crisis.”