Robert Clarke explains his motivation for supporting Habitat over many years.
Robert Clarke first connected with Habitat as a volunteer on our Glencairn project, which built 16 homes in a Protestant area of West Belfast in the late 1990s. The community had suffered severely during The Troubles, and with the peace process still in its infancy, it was a powerful symbol of hope when Catholics crossed the peace line to help build the homes of their Protestant neighbours.
"It was great to build beside the homeowners and other groups of volunteers. We learned a lot from each other," Robert said.
Robert has also witnessed the impact of Habitat's work internationally, having travelled on Global Village teams. "The families were so gracious, despite their difficult housing conditions. There was a language barrier but we always found ways to communicate," he said.
Robert is a retired teacher of Technology & Design. He still puts his practical skills to good use, volunteering one day a week in the upcycling workshop in Habitat ReStore, Lisburn.
He has inspired others to engage i n Habitat's mission, including members of his church, Saintfield Road Presbyterian, who volunteer on our local community building projects.
"I've always been interested in the "Theology of the Hammer", the approach for helping those in desperate need by Millard Fuller, Habitat's founder. That is what is behind all that I do."
"Habitat enables me to serve God and to put my faith into action," Robert said.
Learn more about volunteering locally here or read more stories from our Spring 2017 newsletter here.