The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | April / May 2002
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 House Yields Stability

Though both Adrian and Mihaela Tapos are medical doctors, in Beius, Romania, such a profession does not always earn adequate income to afford decent shelter. In fact, until 1999, the only housing they could afford for themselves and their four children was an apartment intended to temporarily house single doctors. With no running water or bathroom facilities, life wasn’t easy.

“Upon the request of our employer, we could have been asked to leave at any time,” says Adrian. “It was insecurity. The worst was we had no water available in the house.”

Mihaela remembers those days all too well. “We had to carry the water from a pit well, and then pour it in the big 200-liter barrel in the loft,” she says. “Water was pulled out of the well with a long wood stick that had a metal pick at the end to hold the water bucket handle. We did this for five years.”

But in August 1999, more than 300 volunteers came from 15 countries to build 10 Habitat houses in 10 days on Habitat Street in Beius. The Tapos family’s house was among them, and today, the street is home to 36 Habitat houses.

“I didn’t want to apply [for a Habitat house] at first,” says Adrian. “Someone came to me and said, ‘Why don’t you want to apply? Put God to the test.’ And now, I am so glad I applied. There is no degree of comparison between the [former] living conditions and what we have now with our home. I feel fulfilled; we have peace and silence as a family. Our children are near the school; our neighbors are very nice. Our children made a lot of friends among the neighbor’s children. We are a new community.”

The older Tapos children remember their previous housing situation. Says Catalin, 8: “Mostly I like about my house that it is warm.” Says Tudor, 11: “There we didn’t have friends, there weren’t children. Here there are many, many friends.”

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