Colin helping to build hope for the future

Habitat NI volunteers Aileen McGrath and Colin Daly show a young visitor how to plaster using 'chika' during the Self-Build Show at the King's Hall.
Habitat NI volunteers Aileen McGrath and Colin Daly show a young visitor how to plaster using 'chika' during the Self-Build Show at the King's Hall.

Glengormley man Colin Daly wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty as he volunteered with Habitat for Humanity NI at the Self-Build Show in Belfast recently.

Habitat NI created a model Habitat Ethiopian home at the show in the King’s Hall using traditional building methods and materials. And Colin was kept busy helping visitors have a go at plastering with ‘chika’ - a traditional Ethiopian wall covering.

The home was modelled on Habitat Ethiopia’s improved version of a traditional house style. These homes are affordable, quick and easy to build and require locally available materials such as wood, soil, sand and stone. The houses vary in size from 22 to 30 square metres and are built in a way that families can add further rooms in the future. All homes have a latrine in a separate block and access to a portable water source.

Colin is a strong supporter of the work of Habitat NI, having travelled to Ethiopia as part of Habitat NI’s Global Village programme. He has helped to build hope and homes in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities and has seen firsthand the impact the work of Habitat for Humanity can have on families trapped in poverty.

The average cost of a Habitat home in the developing world is £1,235. Habitat NI was encouraging visitors to the show to donate what they can to help reach more families in urgent need of simple, decent shelter. £10 can provide essential tools to help build a durable, healthy home. £5 can provide a bag of cement that will help build firm foundations.

“We are very grateful to Self-Build for this unique opportunity to promote our work that is taking place in Ethiopia, and 70 other countries around the world,” said Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat NI.

“Habitat NI is a long-term partner with Habitat Ethiopia. In recent years, thanks to the generosity of the people of Northern Ireland, together they have served more than 1,000 Ethiopian families through new homes, kitchen improvements and communal water points. For these families, their improved living conditions provided a firm foundation to build a better future through better health, having room to study, a place to work and play.”

She continued: “Only 27 per cent of Ethiopians have access to safe drinking water, 78 per cent live on less than $2 per day and, in urban areas, 90 per cent live in slums. The vast majority of families live in poorly built, cramped houses made of mud, stick or thatch walls. Our work is only beginning and we are appealing for people across Northern Ireland to donate what they can to support our work today.”

Habitat for Humanity is a non-denominational Christian housing movement dedicated to eliminating poverty housing and homelessness.

Donations towards the charity’s work can be made online at or by calling 9263 5635.