Today, I am traveling with Habitat Wake board member, Michelle Pavliv, to visit and participate in Habitat for Humanity's work in the central African nation of Malawi. We are traveling with a group organized by Habitat for Humanity International that consists of staff and board members from a number of US Habitat affiliates. It is a blessing to be able to connect with our partners around the world. We began supporting the work of Habitat Malawi financially earlier this year as part of our global strategy of Habitat Wake.
70% of the population of Malawi lives in substandard housing and Habitat Malawi has the goal of serving 16,500 families through 2018. Malawi has at least 1.4 million orphans who have lost one or both parents largely due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Most of these orphans are taken care of by their sibling (an older brother or sister) or a close relative in poor quality homes with mud walls, dirt floors, grass-thatched roofs and poor ventilation. Habitat Malawi's Orphans and Vulnerable Groups (OVG) program started in 2009 and has constructed more than 200 homes in six communities. We will spend some time building alongside our Malawian colleagues and some time learning about the local context of housing and need.
Michelle and I look forward to sharing much more upon our return. Please keep us in your prayers for safe travel.