Building hope for Nepalese families

17:00, Jul 31 2014
Nepal house
NEPAL STYLE: Conrad LaPointe says volunteers will work on bamboo-framed, earthen brick houses in Chinwan Province.

It was either a shed full of new power tools or a meaningful OE.

James Poore, 24, chose the trip - cashing-up a $5000 work tool voucher he still had after winning the 2013 Registered Master Builders Carters Apprentice of the Year.

The Murrays Bay resident is joining more than 1000 volunteers aiming to build 100 homes in 10 days in Nepal. All have to pay their way to take part in Habitat for Humanity's Everest Build 2014.

James Poore
WIN-WIN: Champion builder James Poore is helping to tackle homelessness and travelling the world.

The exercise will cost Poore $5600 but he did not hesitate.

"I'm heading overseas to do my OE. Instead of wasting that money on stuff I won't use, I poured it into the trip," Poore says.

Voucher donor Carters was happy to help out, he says.


"You're not only going to build the home, you're paying for the materials as well," Poore says.

The fully-qualified builder will supervise a work gang of 10, concentrating on one house its occupants will also own.

"We build it with the family so that's something I'm looking forward to," Poore says.

He does not consider it a selfless venture.

"It's just the start the start of my OE, I'm doing another 5 weeks in Asia, then I'm off to London and France to work on the super yachts," the former champion yachtie says.

Habitat for Humanity executive officer for Northland Conrad LaPointe says helping out in Nepal "is a holiday with meaning".

The Nepalese-style houses are made of earthen brick and also feature bamboo frames, he says.

The New Zealanders, who range in age from 17 to 82, will have to "muck in" on the 30 square metre houses, working in hot, humid conditions, he says.

Habitat for Humanity builds more than 7000 homes a year in the impoverished Himalayan nation, LaPointe says.

"I've always believed that assisting people out of poverty, the first thing you need is a stable home, a safe decent, affordable home," he says.

Email northland@habitat. for more information on Habitat for Humanity's domestic and foreign programmes.

North Shore Times