HIC Member Better Life Association for Comprehensive Development (BLACD): winner of the World Habitat Awards 2009/2010


The World Habitat Awards were presented today October 4th, 2010 by Mrs Inga Bjork-Klevby, Assistant-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN-HABITAT and Mrs Diane Diacon, Director of BSHF at this year’s global celebration of World Habitat Day in Shanghai, China.

About the Awards:

The World Habitat Awards were established in 1985 by the Building and Social Housing Foundation as part of its contribution to the United Nations International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Two awards are given annually to projects that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems, from the global South as well as the North.Every year an award of £10,000 is presented to each of the two winners at the annual United Nations global celebration of World Habitat Day.

About the winner 2009/2010:

The Better Life Association for Comprehensive Development (BLACD) is an Egyptian NGO established in 1995. BLACD seeks to improve the quality of life for the poor and marginalised in the Minia governorate, through a rights-based approach. It works in three main villages and several small affiliated villages, surrounded by the River Nile from the west and the Eastern Desert from the east. To date, housing has been improved for nearly 1,000 families and potable water and latrines provided for over 5,900 families. Furthermore, BLACD is the first NGO in Egypt to formally advocate and work on behalf of quarry-workers, fishermen, low-income farmers and their children. The organisation’s activities aim to empower local communities by improving livelihoods and health, reducing pollution, and encouraging and supporting them to organise around their own needs and rights, including with respect to land tenure. The organisation has also initiated innovative financing mechanisms.

Aims and Objectives:
– To improve the quality of life of the local population through improving housing conditions, livelihood opportunities and access to clean water and electricity.
– To establish a revolving fund that enables the local residents to improve their existing housing or build new homes.
– To establish a local housing movement and raise awareness of households’ legal rights concerning land tenure.
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