Paul digs deep to help build Malawi homes

Paul Doran, from Rosewell, helped to build houses for orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi
Paul Doran, from Rosewell, helped to build houses for orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi

A Midlothian housebuilder has just returned from Malawi where he’s been helping build homes for orphans and vulnerable children.

Paul Doran, who lives in Rosewell, was part of a team of 16 staff from Miller Homes, who travelled to Salima in the east of the country.

The team took part in the ‘Habitat Homes’ housebuilding project with international charity Habitat for Humanity, Miller Homes’ nominated charity for 2016. Over the year Miller Homes has pledged to raise £100K for the charity’s Hope Builders campaign, enough to build more than 30 ‘Habitat Homes’. The company hit this target in September and continues to fundraise for the cause.

The trip was funded by Miller Homes but each volunteer raised a minimum of £1000 toward the £100K target.

Paul (30) usually works as an engineer. On the trip he was put to task on labouring duties – digging, carrying and laying bricks. All in 30 degree heat for eight hours at a time.

He said: “My day job involves a lot of desk time, meetings and computer work so it was nice to do some physical labour, particularity for such a good cause.”

Paul raised funds for the charity by running the Edinburgh marathon and collected almost £2000 in donations. The trip was the first time he had visited a developing country and he was touched greatly by taking part. He said: “The range of emotions you experience on a trip of this nature are so variable from real joy of finishing the houses and making a difference to the people you are helping to tears of sadness at some of the situations people are living in.

The group from Miller Homes had been due to build three houses and ended up constructing four. Paul said: “The team worked harder than I have ever seen a group of people work. You don’t want to muck about when you know the fruit of your labours will give an orphaned family a clean, safe and dry home.”

He continued: “We can’t take all the credit though, we really couldn’t have achieved anywhere near what we did without the hard work of the families we were working with. It was incredible to see their work ethic and energy considering the hardship they faced on a daily basis.”