India's Fuller Center dedicates first home

The first Fuller Center home in India was dedicated Oct. 6, for a carpenter named T. Joy and his family.

Prior to the dedication, Joy lived with his wife, two children and his parents in a small, two-bedroom home that had an asbestos roof—a potential health hazard. He hoped to receive a loan in order to reconstruct the home.

"He was not successful because of the cumbersome procedure involved and the exorbitant interest charged," T.H. Lawrence, chairman of the Trivandrum FCH in India, said. "He had almost given up his hope."

Joy applied to partner with the Trivandrum FCH, to pay for a home to be built through an interest-free loan, and his family was chosen by the board. The home was built during the week of the Millard Fuller Legacy Build, Aug. 30-Sept. 5.

During the ceremony, the Joy family received a Bible as well as a portrait of Millard and Linda Fuller, co-founders of The Fuller Center for Housing.

Trivandrum FCH board members & homeowner (L to R): Mathew Thundathil, Abraham Mathew, Mr. Vijayan, TH Lawrence , T Joy.

"Though we had not embarked on any building project, the Board of the Trivandrum Fuller Center decided to seize the opportunity and participate in the global build as a token of the utmost respect for the late Millard Fuller," Lawrence said.

The Joy family was able to help build the home during that week, providing sweat equity.

"The family is now excited and and proud of having a new and decent house to live in, while we are thrilled to see the first Fuller Center house having taken shape in India under the aegis of the Trivandrum FCH," Lawrence said.

The board was able to raise the funds needed for this home on their own. And they hope to keep fundraising in the future.

"I believe that most of us are humane in nature, but are skeptical about whether what they donate will be properly and fully utilized by those involved in the process," Lawrence said. "My concern is to make sure that this fear is dispelled from the minds of donors by all means and to show them that We Can Do It!"

Lawrence started a blog to track the progress of India’s Fuller Center. You can view pictures and information about their work there.

Trivandrum FCH has a project lined up and approved to begin whenever the funds are available. For information about making donations, click here. And find more about the Trivandrum Fuller Center here.

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