We’re on a journey to build a house and make a home

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“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” – Oprah Winfrey 

With the horrific events that have just occurred in Paris, and Sydney a couple of weeks ago, I believe more than ever that women must have more influence in the world! We must all take steps, however we can, to provide help and support to other women and inspire others to make a difference in the world too.

Melbourne Cup Day last year I was at a function with a table-full of vibrant ladies. Amongst glasses of champagne, sweeps and fashion parades, my friend Belinda Smith, who was sitting opposite me, leaned across the table and said, “Do you want to come to Nepal to do a Habitat for Humanity build?”

I had no idea what a Habitat for Humanity build was but it sounded like an adventure and a chance to help others, so of course my response was, “Hells yeah!”.

Though I didn’t know about Habitat for Humanity (H4H), I did know that Belinda has a generous heart and a passion for gender equality and helping people in need. Plus she said the magic word, ‘Nepal’!

The day after, Belinda emailed me with details of the next H4H build in Nepal – which begins on 10th January 2015 – tomorrow!

So today, Belinda and I are making our way to Nepal.

Tomorrow we will arrive in Kathmandu and meet the other 12 people who are part of our build team. We will then fly to a town in eastern Nepal called Biratnagar. For the following five days we will be transported to a local village to help build a home for a Nepali family.

Belinda is the Founder of the Equal Futures Project and an advocate for gender equity. Belinda and I both believe passionately in supporting women locally and globally.

One of my new mantras for this year is to be a #globalcitizen and to reach, support, uplift and inspire women around the globe via The Sista Code – you can all make a difference too!

Habitat for Humanity is an international organisation that has built or repaired over 800,000 homes and helped more than 4 million people worldwide.

Building a secure home creates the foundation for change. A safe home gives people the opportunity to be healthier, happier and more secure, and for children to be better nourished and better educated. Building a decent home provides much more than bricks and mortar – it provides real hope for the future.

Building a house for one family, changes the lives of so many more. For around AUD$2,500, we can build a house for an entire family.

Habitat for Humanity’s philosophy is to give a hand-up not a hand-out by building homes in partnership with families both in Australia and overseas. Partner families put in labour and a deposit, and H4H offers expertise and assistance with financing the new home.

Belinda and I are both really excited about being a part of this project and helping women and their families. I will be posting photos and stories during the week, so check in if you wish to follow our journey!

Thanks for your support!

Mel and Belinda xx


Melissa Histon

Photographer, philanthropist, adventurer, blogger, avid permitter and social changer, Melissa Histon is a woman on a mission to make a real difference to the lives of women globally. Melissa spent 10 years working in the corporate world before leaving to establish a successful photography business. After experiencing a number of life-altering events, Melissa created The Sista Code in May 2014 with a dream to see women empowered, happy and connected. Whether it's building a house for the homeless in Nepal, interviewing inspiring women from around the globe, or creating events and campaigns to support sistas escaping domestic violence, Melissa knows that true change can only happen when we all stand together and boost each other.


  1. Ann

    January 9, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Wow!! I am moved and inspired. I hope you have a productive, empowering blessed experience.

    • Melissa Histon

      Melissa Histon

      January 9, 2015 at 1:52 am

      Thanks so much Ann! That is so kind of you to say! If you wish to keep in touch with our journey, you can do so by joining here Thanks again! Mel xx

  2. Thank you Melissa and Belinda for being leaders and lighting the way for others to follow. I wish you a wonderful experience in Nepal.

    • Melissa Histon

      Melissa Histon

      January 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      Heidi it is you who inspires me! Thanks my friend xx

  3. sophie mill

    January 9, 2015 at 5:23 am

    I agree with Ann above, ‘wow, I am moved’. Normally, I am not lost for words however, your compassion, initiative, direction, dedication and a whole host of other descriptive feelings, and thoughts, have left me in wonderment. Put more frankly, I am in wonderment of such wonderful women.

    Luckily for me, and many of my friends, I can’t imagine the feeling to be homeless. However, many of us would be able to (slightly) imagine the feeling of relief another family will gain when you give them a home for their family.

    The most beautiful experience we can have is mystery – I suspect there are going to be many beautiful mysteries that are about to un-fold.

    I wish you all the best and safe return.

    • Melissa Histon

      Melissa Histon

      January 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks so much Sophie for your lovely words! 🙂

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