SMEC has partnered with Habitat for Humanity for more than five years, contributing a cumulative total of nearly AUD $200,000 to support various initiatives in Fiji, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Australia.
SMEC Foundation Board Director, Katie O’Malley, says that SMEC is delighted and honored to have ongoing opportunities to partner with Habitat for Humanity to enrich the lives of communities where the company operates.
“Our network of international offices has been really beneficial for this partnership because it means we often have local teams and resources on the ground to help implement these projects and connect with local communities.”
Nicole Stanmore, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Australia, commented, “We are very grateful for the support of the SMEC Foundation over the last six years. Not only have the financial contributions improved the lives of countless families in the Asia-Pacific region but connecting with SMEC volunteers on the ground has enabled us to also provide practical support to the communities that we serve.
Together, we have provided safe drinking water to thousands of disadvantaged families across Asia, supplied much needed emergency relief after disasters in Fiji, Vanuatu, and Sri Lanka, and renovated women’s crisis accommodation in Australia. We value SMEC’s adaptability and expertise and look forward to partnering on project delivery for years to come.”
Providing access to clean and safe water, Bangladesh
The SMEC Foundation contributed funds to design and construct community infrastructure including water reservoirs, toilets, bath houses and drainage in slum settlements in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This project aimed to increase community resilience through improved access to and maintenance of water, sanitation and drainage facilities.
This project was undertaken over a two-year period and on its completion has provided approximately 3,250 community members from 650 households with access to improved amenities.
Preparedness for natural disasters, global
The SMEC Foundation, in partnership with local teams in Fiji, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Vietnam, helped to support emergency assistance programs that provide interim housing relief in the wake of devastating cyclones and improve disaster preparedness.
A project in Fiji, for example, involved prepositioning emergency shelter kits in a central location, which is a simple but effective way to ensure Habitat for Humanity could provide immediate support and shelter-focused recovery operations for impacted communities following a natural disaster.
Volunteering to secure community futures, Vietnam
Low-income families and remote communities in some of the regions SMEC operate in not only face the negative effects of living in inadequate housing, they also have the burden of making annual repairs based on seasonal changes.
International volunteers, including a group of SMEC team members, helped rural communities in Vietnam to build stronger, more resilient homes. New houses were made of durable materials such as sun-dried brick, concrete and tiles, and came with attached toilets, meaning families were better equipped to mitigate the potential risks of seasonal impacts.
International Women’s Day build, Australia
Each International Women’s Day, SMEC employees in Australia, along with their sister company Robert Bird Group, volunteer their time building homes and renovating crisis accommodation with Habitat for Humanity. These projects include painting and refurbishing homes for women and families experiencing the impacts of domestic violence. The aim of these projects is to empower women to help families build strength, stability and independence.
Habitat for Humanity