Corporate Social Responsibility is important to Pipelife and in this respect we have decided to extend our activities and to support a project of Habitat for Humanity in Kostinbrod / Bulgaria to erect houses for underprivileged people by means of product donation as well as financial contribution. The whole project also includes support from Wienerberger (bricks) and Tondach (roof tiles) and is realized with the help of over 100 volunteers, digging the ground, erecting the buildings and installing the systems, guided by professionals.
The construction work for the first house has started in June 2012 and was finished in December. The last house is expected to be finalized in October 2014. The piping systems provided by Pipelife have been started to being installed in November.
Habitat Bulgaria has been working on selecting the right beneficiaries for these houses. Meetings were held with the Mayor of Kostinbrod, the Director of the Social Services Office and other representatives of the municipality of Kostinbrod were held to start the identification process. After an information dissemination campaign in Kostinbrod and the neighboring villages, three different meetings with potential interested families were held. The opportunity was then extended to residents of the neighboring regions of Sofia – Nadejda and Vrubnitsa. Meetings with the mayors of those municipalities were held followed by information meetings with families living in those regions. A pool of approximately 35 families has been identified and will be short-listed by Habitat Bulgaria based on the selection criteria, the living conditions of the families and their need. The short-listed families have been further scrutinized by a selection committee set up of representatives of Habitat Bulgaria’s Board of Directors and the Municipality of Kostinbrod.
End of October the first two houses have been handed over to their selected future owners.
The ongoing progress of this project and the erection of the next two houses can be followed on Facebook under https://www.facebook.com/pipelife or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Habitat-for-Humanity-Bulgaria/329388986708?fref=ts.
Due to the professional organization within Habitat and the dedication of the project participants, we in Pipelife agreed to support more projects in the future, of which one will be in Marszewo, Poland, aother one in Beius, Romania.
In Poland, the construction of the so called Marszewo Eco-house combines environmental and social goals. Apart from unique, low-cost construction techniques, the newly built house will also be thermal- and energy efficient and is expected to remain in good shape for more than 100 years.
The social aspect of the project focuses on supporting the beneficiaries – the Sciana family. Previously homeless, Mr. Sciana was a participant of the social reintegration program. Thanks to the capacitation, trainings and consultations, the family also now runs a small local store selling organic food and is planning a community-based agriculture program. Together with Habitat for Humanity and corporate volunteer groups, Mr. Sciana and his family are working towards moving into new home by the end of 2014. This house will be built with clay-and-straw blocks, so aside from the social aspect, this innovative project will be moreover a pilot and role-model for ecological and sustainable construction techniques nationwide. The house will have great insulation attributes and energy efficiency parameters.
Pipelife is supplying the needed piping systems for this house construction.
The Romanian project will cover the rehabilitation of the water and plumbing system in a block of flat in Beius. The building to be renovated was built in 1980 during communism as an accommodation facility for the young un-married workers of the nearby factory. The flats were sold to the workers and since then no one took care of the maintenance of the common areas.
Moreover, the present homeowners, many of them still workers at the factory which is on the verge of bankruptcy, others being pensioners due to age or sickness, barely manage to support themselves due to low income they have.
“It is very hard to live in these conditions. As you open the door, a heavy smell coming from the staircase hits you right in your face and we have friends who told us that they are not visiting us because they cannot cope with the smell”, says Mihai, one of the homeowners.
The condominium looks from outside as if it was abandoned although there are more than 100 families living inside. Both the private properties and the shared ones are badly affected by heavy leakages from the broken pipes, clogged sewerage system, the leakages from the terrace-type roof, the flooded basement or due to the condensation caused by inappropriate insulation. The building does not provide heating, so the homeowners are forced to use wood-burning stoves. That is why many chimneys are coming out through the windows or walls of the building.
Pipelife has decided to support the families living in this building by piping product as well as financial donation, to enable them to install the appropriate water and soil systems.
The project is still ongoing and regular project updates will be available on this webpage, as well as on Pipelife's Facebook page.
“Having a place to live means huge improvements in the families’ health, education, welfare and their overall well-being. This in turn helps families help themselves and turn the cycle of poverty into a circle of prosperity. We are grateful to partner with Pipelife and to help low-income families in Central and Eastern Europe by providing high-value solutions for the protection and flow of water and energy”, Heather Alner, Corporate Engagement Manager at Habitat for Humanity, Europe, Middle East and Africa.