Completion of the Habitat for Humanity house
*Guest Blogger: Chris Harris – Head of Strategic Partnerships*
Over the past year Kijiji has been involved with sponsoring a home build in Toronto with Habitat for Humanity. The location of the Kijiji build was Acme Crescent, located near Kipling & Dixon. Kijiji officially started their relationship with Habitat on August 2, 2013. Even before this signing date, Kijiji and Habitat for Humanity started working on getting plans in place around how to work together in 2013/14. The main part of this partnership surrounded helping Habitat for Humanity with a cash donation and the donation of employee sweat equity for the Acme Crescent project. Over the course of 2013 and early 2014 we completed these objectives – Kijiji delivered on our cash obligations and Kijiji was also involved in 6 building days on the Acme site from November 28th, 2013 – December 11th, 2013. Kijiji also had the privilege to be part of the Habitat for Humanity Women’s build day on September 24th – this all women build day was a great way to kick off Kijiji’s presence on the Acme build site.
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Kijiji’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity comes down to 3 simple factors:
- Hands on Charity – Kijiji wants to be involved with a charity that lets employees get their hands dirty; Habitat for Humanity is great for this. Kijiji employees spent over 600 hours of sweat equity making our sponsor family home come to life in 2014.
- Related to Kijiji Business – The real estate section of Kijiji is vibrant and quickly expanding and we wanted a charity we could directly connect to one of our main categories. Habitat for Humanity is also loosely connected to many of our other categories from services to buy & sell you will find items related to home ownership.
- The Family – Kijiji wanted a charity that would be very connected to both the community and to helping real people. Kijiji feels that giving people access to affordable housing allows them flourish and become truly connected to the community that they live in. Habitat for Humanity is clearly the best charity making this happen in Canada today.
The sponsor family is the most important piece of Kijiji’s sponsorship of Habitat for Humanity and we were connected with an outstanding family. The Hussein Diriye family moved to Canada in 1988 looking to build a better life for themselves settling in Toronto. The Hussein family have 6 children; 3 girls and 3 boys – a handful for anyone in any circumstances. Living in overcrowded public housing did not make life easy for the family. The parents Bashir and Obah simply want to have their children succeed in school and attain a good quality of life. These simple and usually attainable goals are very difficult when reliable housing is a challenge. Kijiji hopes that our helping hand in making their home ownership a reality will allow the Hussein Diriye family to reach these goals and we hope that home ownership becomes the build block to SO much more for Hussein family.
On May 28th, 2014 I had the honor to be invited and attend the dedication of the homes at Acme Crescent. This was an amazing event that really displayed to me exactly why Kijiji sponsors these Habitat for Humanity home builds and why we should continue to in the future. During the event, a previous parent from a sponsor family presented to the crowd – she outlined how her Habitat for Humanity home has changed her life over the past 10 years. It was an emotional speech to say the least – the impact of home ownership is simply massive. I had the opportunity to meet the Hussein Diriye family and they are overjoyed with their new home and are just starting to settle in. The entire family was very grateful to both Kijiji and Habitat for Humanity for making home ownership a reality for their family. As a Kijiji employee, I was very proud to be a part of this sponsorship, the build days, and the end dedication of the home to the Hussein family.
In the next couple of months, stayed tuned for more action from Kijiji and Habitat for Humanity – during July, Kijiji will be helping some select Habitat ReStores get much more of their unique inventory listed on Kijiji. This exciting initiative should allow ReStore’s across Canada to sell their inventory faster and turn products into cash, that can help more families like the Hussein Diriye’s get access to the affordable housing that they deserve.