Global Builders program has another record year as impact grows

The 2012 calendar year saw The Fuller Center for Housing’s Global Builders program set all kinds of records.

Thanks to volunteers, donors and international covenant partners, those records had a very short shelf life.

In 2013, the Global Builders program reached new heights with 548 participants (up 17 percent over 2012), 46 trips (up 18 percent), $304,769 in project donations (up 14 percent) and nine countries served (up from six countries).

“What a year!” Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola said. “Global Builders seems to get deeper, wider and bigger every year with better educational materials, more countries and more teams. We love it!

“We credit the growth to our dedicated hosts, wonderful volunteers and our core values — like having a high-quality experience that’s still affordable.”

Highlights of the year including surging beyond the 100-house mark in Haiti, the Mercer University women’s basketball team making the first Global Builders trip to Ghana, and Sri Lanka and Nicaragua welcoming teams for the first time. Also, former Student Builders and Bicycle Adventure leader Allen Slabaugh was brought in to lead the program.

Among new developments within the Global Builders department was the launch of the Country Champions program, through which Global Builder trip participants can continue to help the countries they’ve visited through regular donations and commit to make an impact in their own communities.

“While we’re thrilled with the money the program was able to raise for the local communities, we’re still about engagement,” said Iafigliola, who led a study earlier in the year about the impact such trips have on people’s lives as they move forward. (Click here to view the results of the study.) “We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to have such a powerful experience.”

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