Sophonie Brifil and family

Sophonie Brifil sells candy and sundries from a table outside her makeshift tent to help provide for her seven children, several of whom are grown and have children of their own.

But money is always scarce: “We cannot make our living here.”

Their little tent is crowded and hot. When it rains, it floods. Since moving in immediately after the earthquake in January 2010, Sophonie has developed terrible headaches brought on by the heat, and her eyesight has begun to fail.

Life will be better once she moves into her Habitat house, she says — cooler and drier. And because one of her sons, 25-year-old Lune Saint-Vella, is getting a Habitat home this fall, too, the family’s living quarters won’t be nearly so cramped. The plan is that only her youngest daughters and her 5-year-old son, Mackenson, will share her new space.

After nearly three years of living in a tent with a dirt floor, Sophonie is anxious to perform the daily household chores that many of us might complain about.

“We will keep the house very clean,” she says. “Next time you come, you will see.”