EU concludes ‘Homes not houses’ project in Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

EU concludes ‘Homes not houses’ project in Sri Lanka

28 November, 2021
A family in front of their new home.
A family in front of their new home.

Representatives of the European Union (EU) handed over homes to owners under the ‘Homes not Houses’ project, a EUR 14 million EU-funded project, implemented in the North and the East of Sri Lanka.

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka and World Vision Lanka successfully concluded this multi-year, multi-faceted undertaking that empowered over 2,370 terrorism-affected families to resettle and rebuild their lives and future through sustainable housing and community economic development.

“Our lives have taken a turn for the better. We now dare to dream of a better future for our children who want to be doctors, teachers and bankers to contribute to the development of our country. We cannot express in words the hardships we faced during the war but we can express our heartfelt gratitude towards all those who assisted us to rebuild, resettle and regain our dignity. There are many more families who need help just like us. We hope they too will receive the same support,” said home-owner Nagalingam Sandiran of Karaichchi, Kilinochchi.

EU Ambassador Denis Chaibi said, “This project is about investing in people, particularly those who have gone through the hardships of violent conflict, to build on their resilience. We hope that as we invest in people, these beneficiaries will also invest in themselves and each other by working together in ways that will bring results and advance peace and reconciliation. The ‘Homes not Houses’ project is also noteworthy for its approach, prioritising owner-driven, environmentally friendly construction. So, it is an amalgam of two EU priorities: investing in people and preserving the environment.”

National Director, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, Yu Hwa Li said, “Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka was honoured to work alongside families in need of safe and secure housing where children can study and play in a healthy environment while parents can focus on improving their livelihoods and communities can contribute to social cohesion.”

“We greatly appreciate the unwavering support of the European Union and World Vision Lanka that ensured a successful completion,” he said.

With this project the EU concluded its decade long “Aid to Uprooted People” program in the country, during which the EU provided more than EUR 50 million towards owner-driven reconstruction for over 20,000 households and internally displaced persons affected by terrorism. The project adopted an innovative “home-owner driven” approach where the households contributed directly to the design and construction of their home.