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The gift of Grace

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Grace and her children Matamando, 6 and Caleb, 1.

Grace Kaunda, 28, has lived in the Habitat for Humanity Area 49 Low Cost Housing Project in Lilongwe since 2007. She lives with her husband Mambo and her two children. Her brother and cousin live in the kitchen that they have added to their property.

The Kaunda family originally lived in a one-room, mud brick house in the slum area of Ntandile before moving to Area 49. Grace says that her life and the life of her family has changed exponentially for the better since moving to Area 49.

Grace says her family was interested in moving into Habitat housing so that they could own their own home. Grace runs a grocery store, which she built on her property and her husband works as a social worker. These opportunities were not open to either of them when they lived in Ntandile. Grace likes her new home because she has her own garden, kitchen, fence, and a nice toilet, which is just for her family. In Ntandile, her family shared one toilet and any outdoor space with four other families in a compound.

She says her family feels very safe and happy here. Improvements to the Kaunda family’s life since moving to Area 49 include improved health, less incidences of malaria, a safer community, better access to schools and more room for her children to play. The greatest advantage of living here, according to Grace, is the incredible sense of security that comes from the prospect of home ownership. Grace’s dream is to see her children go to college and get good jobs.