In June, 13 extraordinary student-athletes from Oregon State University traveled to Ethiopia to build houses for families in Holt’s family preservation program. But that’s not all the did… An excerpt from the Guard story:
“In Silti, the community the students visit, both of the families to receive new homes are headed by women. As women in a traditional Muslim village, they can’t build the homes themselves. Gender roles dictate what they can and cannot do. They work in the fields and wash the clothes and cook the food. They pump water from a borehole and carry it home in 20-liter bins, often with a baby strapped to their back.
But they never, ever build houses.
Ironically, nine of the 13 student-athletes who signed up for this trip are, in fact, women. Over six days, as they climbed roofs, hammered nails, sawed wood, and stomped and plastered mud onto the walls of the two houses, they would be quite the spectacle — defying entrenched social norms. And to everyone’s surprise, the community would not only embrace it, but love it — cheering the young women on, laughing joyously when they inevitably got into mud fights, and helping to rinse the mud off their feet at the end of the day.”