Pacific’s Hildreth, area team to build homes for Kenyans

Richard Hildreth is about to serve the people again – this time, the people of Kenya.

Richard Hildreth

Richard Hildreth is about to serve the people again – this time, the people of Kenya.

An electrician by trade and a former two-term mayor of Pacific, Hildreth plans to join Habitat for Humanity on a Global Village mission to the impoverished East African nation to build homes.

Hildreth is part of a Seattle-area contingent that will work with native families and laborers in Africa to construct hand-made-brick homes.

The team of 15 strong from all walks and backgrounds – a police officer, architect and contractor, for example – will build houses alongside people who need a decent, affordable place to live.

“From what I’ve heard, the homes are really spartan,” Hildreth said. “We are there to help, to build brick homes.”

Hildreth is excited about the Aug. 31-Sept. 8 visit. He has done considerable work in past regional projects for the organization. Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County invited Hildreth to make the outreach mission.

“This is a great opportunity to show the people of Kenya what Americans are all about, and I look forward to the experience,” Hildreth said. “This is going to be an exceptional experience. I hope to do more of these in the future.”

Habitat for Humanity Kenya was formed in 1982. In rural areas, most families live in mud daub houses with thatch roofs. The houses are difficult to maintain and provide a breeding ground for insects, termites and rodents.

Habitat is building houses in Kenya by using the resources available in local areas, constructing with timber or stabilized soil bricks, depending on the location.

Teams traveling to Kenya usually stay in a school, church or community center. Sleeping bags are usually needed and mosquito nets will be provided by the affiliate. In most cases, breakfast and dinner will be provided where the team is staying. Lunch is usually provided on site by the homeowner.

To get there, Hildreth’s union, International Brotherhood Electrical Workers (IBEW) No. 46, has donated money to cover his airfare. But Hildreth is raising funds to help cover other costs, such as food, lodging and transportation. All donations can be made directly to Habitat for Humanity and are tax deductible.

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