It was a case of all hands-on deck for three-days straight for a team of usually office-bound professionals, who successfully built a new home for a family in Fiji.
Under the watchful eye of their Habitat for Humanity team leader and two professional builders, the group of nine from Flight Centre Travel Group’s Australian corporate travel division, built a 6mx3.5m home from timber and corrugated iron.
The construction was part of a recent house build initiative in the Vitogo Village, Lautoka on mainland Fiji, which was coordinated by international non-profit organisation, Habitat for Humanity.
As well as completing the build, the FCTG group also raised an impressive $28,000 for Habitat for Humanity to continue their global house building efforts.
NSW/ACT Corporate Traveller General Manager, Jaclyn Reynolds, said the experience was amazing.
“It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be,” Jaclyn said. “The combination of timber and corrugated iron rather than cement and bricks meant it was a little easier to build. But we also had a very hard-working team, which helped.
“We had a team of doers. Everyone just got in and did what they needed to do, which made the whole thing smooth and really enjoyable.”
On the final day of the build, the FCTG group decorated the home before presenting it to the Habitat for Humanity partner family.
“On the Friday there was a traditional handover process, where a priest from the local village blessed the house as part of a ceremony and dedication of the new home,” Jaclyn said. “The highlight for me was a group of young girls from the village had been working on a dance for us while we were building the home and presented the dance during the handover – it was beautiful.”
General Manager of Corporate Traveller in Victoria and Tasmania, Askin Erkec, said for him the highlight was the ‘purpose’ of the trip.
“There were so many highlights. But for me I think it was knowing that we actually made a difference to the community and to the family whose house we were building. It was a very humbling experience …we all worked hard, everyone knew what they needed to do, and we got in and did it,” Askin said.
The Fijian house build was Askin’s first Habitat for Humanity experience, but he said it wouldn’t be the last. The State leader will be talking about his experience in Fiji and the work carried out by Habitat for Humanity at one of FCTG’s annual corporate conferences happening this week.
Habitat for Humanity is known globally for not only building homes for families in need but also giving hope to communities affected by poverty or weather events like Fiji, where many families are still coping with the devastation and destruction left by Cyclone Winston in 2016.
Each year FCTG employees raise funds for and take part in a Habitat for Humanity house build for global communities in need, as part of FCTG’s corporate social responsibility program– Brighter Futures