This year, The Financial Times has chosen Habitat for Humanity as its season appeal charity partner. 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 because they want 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.
We will offer all Financial Times employees opportunities to volunteer in order to help build or renovate a house alongside families that will live there. The support of the Financial Times is important because it will help shine a spotlight on the global challenge of reducing housing inequality. It will also 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. There they will witness challenging circumstances and see our renovation work first-hand. They will 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 offer FT journalists features on how we are transforming lives in the Ethiopian capital’s sprawling slums. 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. Also, those who have benefitted from 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 by working with financial institutions in Kenya, Uganda and Latin America. These 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. Tunbridge Wells is 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. Women who have gained access to land rights because they have escaped persecution and prejudice.
Energy efficiency in Eastern Europe
With the seasonal appeal charity partnerships, journalists will visit Soviet-era apartment blocks in Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina or Macedonia. They will visit these places in order to understand how they are undergoing vital energy efficiency renovations.
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 in order to see how Habitat for Humanity is working with local governments in the Philippines. Habitat for Humanity are working with them to pioneer large scale construction of houses made from bamboo and concrete. This 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.”