The Nigatu family -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

The Nigatu family


With a home of their own now in sight, Tadesse and Maereg Nigatu will be able to focus on their next family priority: education.

Finding a way out

From the smoke to the noise to the dysfunctional kitchen appliances, Tadesse and Maereg Nigatu needed to find a way out—somehow.

Originally from Ethiopia, the Nigatus and their two daughters, Tsion, 8, and Mekdelawit, 4, have been struggling in their current residence, a cramped apartment in St. Paul run by neglectful landlords.

Luckily, they heard about Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity from friends who are already Habitat homeowners. After applying, Tadesse was overjoyed to hear that his family had been selected for a home. “We are very, very happy!” Nigatu said.

The Nigatus will join 25 other Habitat partner families as part of the 27th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

Already active in their local church and library, the family is looking forward to becoming involved in their new community.

Nigatu understands the responsibilities behind homeownership. He says he is excited to learn the proper ways to fix and maintain his Habitat home through his training classes and sweat equity. The family’s new Habitat home will provide privacy, space and safety, all of which are in jeopardy at their current apartment. With these basic comforts met, Tadesse and Maereg will be able to focus on cultivating and financing their family’s next priority: education.

Entering third grade this fall, Tsion is a voracious reader who has already been placed in an educational program for gifted students. When asked about her favorite subject in school, she paused for a moment, then exclaimed: “Almost everything!”

The family’s new Habitat home should provide plenty of space for Tsion and her sister to study, learn and grow.