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Service and resilience in Africa/Middle East—two stories

December 17, 2008


A life of service—After 11 years of marriage, Assarta Raul Monollane and her husband separated in 2001. She found herself alone, without children or family around her. Assarta struggled to keep herself healthy, but managed to rise above her difficulties by seeking outlets for service and friendship. She began to volunteer with a local organization called Mae Liders (Mothers Leading) which specializes in home-based care, and another organization called Kumbuca (meaning “to remember”).

She remains an active leader in these organizations today. In 2005, when Assarta’s brother Samuel died, she took in his infant son, Aderto. She and her nephew received a Habitat home in the year 2007. Today, Assarta helps seek out families in Massaca that need Habitat’s assistance. Her resilience and desire to care for others in need is an inspiration.

Assarta remains an active leader in local organizations


A story of resilience—Clemencia Valoi is originally from the Province of Gaza. In the year 1990, she was forced to travel alone to Massaca due to the violet unrest of the Civil War in her region. There were many refugees from the north coming to Massaca around this time, and a local mission provided each family with a temporary home of concrete blocks. Unfortunately, when the floods of the year 2000 came, many of these houses collapsed, leaving Clemencia and many other individuals without proper shelter. She temporarily moved into her granddaughters’ home in Massaca, but there was not much room.

After years of health problems, Clemencia then discovered in 2005 that she was diabetic. She is now receiving treatment, but still does not feel as well as she use to. She struggles to go to the family garden plot to cultivate corn and cassava for her granddaughters, Innocencia and Maria, and the treatment process is tiring for her. Nevertheless, Clemencia takes every opportunity to dance in thanksgiving, furnish her new Habitat home, and look with hope upon her granddaughters’ futures.

Clemencia and her granddaughter look resiliently upon the future

Stories courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Africa/Middle East