BBNI India Team 2011

For the first two weeks in July, a team of senior boys and young officers from across Northern Ireland travelled out to India in association with Habitat for Humanity NI. This year the team were based in the Pondicherry area, however they were working in a village called Seyumkuppam, which is a 45 minute bus journey from Pondicherry.

Seyumkuppam is a village of 1,600 people mostly employed in the plantations around the village. The main crops are rice and mangos. A lot of the housing stock in the village is substandard, and there are only two pit latrines for the whole village. Habitat hopes to build 30 replacement houses with toilets plus an extra 30 toilets for the community. Habitat provides the family with an interest free mortgage, which allows the land to be bought and house to be built.

This is then paid back over a period of time depending on the ability of the family, the money can then be used for future projects. This time the work programme was more varied than the 2009 team tasks, included moving bricks, sieving sand, white washing, digging foundations, mixing concrete, pouring roof slab, and plastering. The only disadvantage with this was that the team were moving between houses, and didn’t get to know the families as well.

One thing everyone noticed throughout the trip was how prayer was answered, right from the very start. William noted: “We had the full first day in India free to get accustomed to the climate, it was a warm day with temperatures above 42°C. We knew that if it was like that the next day we would suffer, so that evening we prayed for a cool refreshing breeze. The next morning we woke up, went to the roof top and were greeted by a cool breeze. The breeze was coming from the ocean which was the wrong direction for that time of the year. It was a great blessing for us and allowed us to carry on with our work.”
The team would like to thank everyone who supported the trip,
1 September 2011

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