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The community of Maai Mahiu

Habitat houses offer stability and community to the formerly displaced.

How does a family respond when the unthinkable occurs?

In 2007, in the wake of a disputed election in Kenya that led to riots and civil unrest, Teresia Kwambuka Silal and her family were forced from their home. Stunned by the violence occurring all around her — death, destruction, displacement — Teresia had no choice but to walk away, carrying only her children.

Happily, she ended up in a place called Maai Mahiu. Joining with a group of families living in tattered tents but determined to rebuild their lives, Teresia participated in a collective land purchase and, with the help of Habitat Kenya, began to build. Today, more than 300 simple, decent stone houses — including Habitat's 500,000th house worldwide — constitute a safe and thriving community.

More than simply a place to live, Maai Mahiu is a symbol of renewal. It's a place where children who have known hardship can exchange their fear for joy. A place that cements kindness and community in place of isolation and uncertainty.

Violence, disaster, unforeseeable circumstance — how does a family respond when the unthinkable occurs? With courage and perseverance and the help of those who will stand alongside them and build something new.

Slideshow

Meet Teresia Kwambuka Silal and other residents of Maai Mahiu

Read more about Habitat's 500,000th house worldwide
Song and Celebration

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