2018 has been quite a year! The Solid Ground campaign has seen incredible progress towards our goal of ensuring 10 million individuals around the world have increased access to land for shelter, and I’m pleased to share some of my favorite highlights with you.
1. 41 countries
In 2018, we welcomed organizations in 3 new countries to the campaign—Jamaica, Liberia and Haiti! Habitat for Humanity national organizations and partners are now implementing Solid Ground in 41 countries around the world. They are advocating to increase access to land for shelter, focusing on secure tenure, gender equality, slum upgrading and disaster resilience, at all levels of government, forming a truly global campaign. With over one year of the four-year campaign left, momentum continues to grow and impact is deepening.
2. Policy success from A to Z
We’ve seen the development and implementation of policies to increase access to land and housing from Argentina to Zambia and many in between, improving access to land for shelter for over one million people this year alone! Through Solid Ground, Habitat for Humanity Zambia is helping Yoanna, who lives with her family in Ndola, and other families, particularly those headed by women, secure rights to their land. Yoanna has written a will to protect her family’s future by keeping others from trying to claim property. “I feel good knowing that my house will go to my family,” says Yoanna, who cares for 10 children and grandchildren.
Habitat for Humanity Côte d’Ivoire worked with local authorities to create a land administration system at the village level. And Habitat for Humanity Honduras influenced municipal policymakers to improve social housing policies.
Follow our advocacy efforts.
3. Going public with Solid Ground in Europe
The European Union-funded three-year project through the Solid Ground campaign, called Build Solid Ground, kicked-off in January. Through the project, a consortium of 14 partners is building critical understanding and engagement on the need for global land and housing in 7 European countries. Build Solid Ground is leveraging media campaigns, creative public events, educational events, volunteer opportunities and advocacy for global development policy.
4. Her Land, Her Story
Earlier this year, Solid Ground and several campaign partners joined the Cadasta Foundation for a collective effort to raise awareness of women's land rights and demonstrate the impact land rights have on women, families and communities. Her Land Her Story shares real women’s land stories, including stories of women who have been impacted by the efforts of Habitat national organizations enrolled in the Solid Ground campaign. Chitra and her family now own land and a home because of the advocacy and community-led initiative Habitat for Humanity India supported.
5. Network participation in the High-Level Political Forum
In July, we participated in the United Nations High-Level Political Forum focused on “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies,” of which land and housing must be key parts. Kelly Koch, national director of Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, presented on their joint initiative with steel manufacturer POSCO to resettle families living in vulnerable conditions to more adequate and sustainable homes. Habitat for Humanity Jamaica presented their Building Resilience and Capacities against Emerging Disaster project to train and empower communities to increase disaster resilience.
6. Suelo Urbano hosts Action Land Laboratories
With the support of Solid Ground, Suelo Urbano, a collaborative online platform, hosted a series of Action Land Laboratories, or LABs, this year. In October, Habitat for Humanity Brazil and Suelo Urbano hosted one of the LABs to focus on a study Habitat Brazil conducted using land tools to determine the feasibility of turning vacant buildings in city centers into affordable social housing. Through debate and dialogue across multi-sector stakeholders, new solutions were determined which will aid in the creation of policy proposals in Brazil and beyond.
Through Solid Ground, we have seen the integral role adequate housing plays in creating strong and stable communities, and we know that land is foundational. Thank you for your support of this critical work. I look forward to seeing what our continued efforts will bring in the new year.