Habitat for Humanity began working in South Korea with the construction of the first three houses in Yangju county, Gyeonggi province, in 1994.
The programme really took off after the 2001 Carter Work Project saw over 10,000 volunteers joining former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to build 136 homes over a week at multiple sites.
To date, Habitat for Humanity South Korea has helped more than 3,300 families with decent homes. It also supports Habitat housing projects and disaster responses in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere with funding and volunteers.
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The housing need
In contrast to its poverty two generations ago, South Korea and its people have created a unique prosperity.
However, housing is not always affordable, particularly in the Seoul metropolitan area which houses half of the country’s population.
Except for the wealthy, urban dwellers often live in cramped spaces.
The rapidly ageing population also faces the prospects of living on their own in housing without adequate ventilation or insulation.
How we address the need in South Korea
Typically, HFH South Korea constructs multi-story residential buildings which promote mutual help among families living in close proximity as well…
Typically, HFH South Korea constructs multi-story residential buildings which promote mutual help among families living in close proximity as well as community cohesiveness.
Such a design demonstrates an efficient use of construction materials and is suitable for volunteer builder participation.
HFH South Korea also repairs the houses of vulnerable groups of people such as the elderly, disabled, and multi-cultural families.
Key facts & figures
Main country facts: Gained independence in 1945
Population: Over 50.9 million
Urbanization: 82.5 % live in cities
Life expectancy: 82.4 years
Unemployment rate: 4 %
Population living below poverty line: 14.6 %
Improving living conditions
Habitat for Humanity Korea typically constructs multistory residential buildings which lend themselves to the for volunteer builder participation. Habitat Korea also repairs the homes of vulnerable groups of people such as the elderly, disabled, young people who head
households and multi-cultural families. Repairs include fixing leaks in the roof, or replacing a sink, a door or windows, or a bathroom. Other works may involve the changing of wallpaper or linoleum flooring.
Building homes and hope with KOICA funding
With funding from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Habitat Korea is able to support the construction of new homes, community buildings, sanitation facilities and raise hygiene standards in countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Mozambique. The KOICA partnership also enables Habitat Korea to assist with disaster response and disaster risk reduction programs in several a!ected Asia-Pacific countries.
Supporting disaster response efforts
Situated in one of the world’s most disaster-affected regions, Habitat Korea raises funds to aid the recovery of people affected by disasters such as floods, typhoons and earthquakes. In the aftermath of a disaster, Habitat may provide emergency shelters to survivors followed by shelter repair kits to help families clear debris and make immediate repairs. In the long term, Habitat aims to provide affected families with decent homes as a pathway to permanence.
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