The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | April / May 2002
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Decent, Affordable, Habitat Houses Bring Transformation

In South Africa: A Sense of Place Yields Stability

In India: A Joy That Knows No Bounds

In California: Family Leaves Danger And Fears Behind

In California: Stability Brings Family Reunion

In Korea: Safe Shelter Establishes Permanence

In Romania: Doctors Once Trapped By Poverty Housing

In England: New House Means New Mindset for Teen

In Kentucky:
10-year-old Enjoys a "Room of One's Own"

In Guatemala: Improved Health, Tranquility Make the Difference



Habitat a 'Beacon'
for Indian Family


Dreaming of a brighter future, Jayapradha and her husband, Somashekar, moved to Hyderabad, India, in 1990. They were tailors, as were their forefathers, and they thought utilizing that skill in the bustling 400-year-old metropolis would help provide a better life for their three children.

But as migrants, they faced rejection from locals, although they had moved less than 200 miles within the same district. With little income, their only housing option was to build a mud hut on land occupied by other migrants. The thatched roof leaked in the rainy season, the wooden beams were infested with termites, a toilet outside the hut offered no privacy, and they worried about robbers.

“We came from a distant place and were new to [Hyderabad], with its fast-paced lifestyle,” says Jayapradha. “My children were very small and we did not know anyone. With great difficulty we built a small hut and started earning our livelihood by the skill we had—tailoring. I feared about how my children would [grow] up, their education, their health, their future and our family expenses.”

After 10 years—three years in the hut and seven in a room made of mud bricks and asbestos roofing sheets—the couple learned about Habitat. By August 2000, they had completed their sweat equity and moved “home.”

“The happiest thing is that when all our hopes failed and dejection in life was creeping in, a beacon of light was heard and seen,” says Jayapradha. “We wondered, ‘Habitat—is it a reality for the poor?’ When we were selected as a homeowner partner, our joy knew no bounds. We were the happiest, thinking now our lives would be transformed for the better, which is a reality.

“We are very happy to own and live in a house which has a concrete cement slab, electricity, water connection, safety from the [threat] of nature, hope for my children’s future, contentment in life that in our old age we need not [worry] about housing, status in society, good rapport and relations with the neighbors, ability to educate and counsel my fellow women on life problems, patience and perseverance until the end, and a life of contentment and peace.”

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