The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | February/March 2001
Why Habitat Builds: Homeowner Stories from Around the World
Latin America/
Africa/Middle East
Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary of Terms

Opportunities to Make a Difference

Cover Page

Notes from the Field

Founder's Message




Archive Issues

Africa/Middle East

Ja'far, Egypt
Mohammed wanted to build a safer, healthier place for his family to live. With help from a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, he had hope for a new house. But first, he had to tear down his precarious mud-brick house in order to build a sturdy brick and limestone house in its place. He needed a place to live in the meantime and couldnt afford to rent another house. Girgis owned the building across from Mohammeds land and knew of his neighbors need. In an act of partnership, he invited them to stay in his building, rent free.

Since moving into their new Habitat house in 1999, Mohammeds son got married, and Mohammed is working to add rooms to his house for the young couple.

Orange Farm, South Africa
Nomvula Jeanette Ndlovu lives in a three-room shack in Orange Farm, South Africa, with her husband and three children. My son is 17 years old, and he sleeps on the floor with the two kids because there is no other room, she says. When it rains, the water comes inside and they must wake up and fold the blankets because they cant sleep on top of the water. Im sick and tired to live like this. Nomvula applied for a Habitat house with Habitat for Humanity Arekopanang. I hope and trust that Habitat will help make my dreams come true, she says.

Nomvula Ndlovus dream came true in time for Christmas last year.

Nyamakate, Zimbabwe
Josaya Chikavira, a subsistence farmer, is one of more than 150 Habitat homeowners in his village. As a farmer, it was difficult for me to raise an amount to build a good house, he says. My family was living in huts. But with help from Habitat for Humanity, he and his wife and their three children were able to achieve homeownership. He credits his four-room house with changing his life, and he has been able to buy good chairs, kitchen utensils and beds. All members of the family now have their privacy, he says. We have a better standard of life compared to what we had in the huts.

A Habitat homeowner since 1997, Chikayira says he is happier and more confident now.

Wobulenzi, Uganda
Namugenyi Piona, a nurse and single mother, lived with her two daughters in a two-room rental house in Wobulenzi, Uganda. The crowding and insecure location caused her to worry about the safety of her daughters, and she desired to live in a place with electricity and a sense of community. She found that place in a Habitat community of 45 houses. A Habitat home enhances ones ability to raise ones children, she says.

Namugenyi Piona was able to move her family into a Habitat house last December. She feels that her daughters safety is much greater now.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
More than 80 percent of the population in Addis Ababa, Ethiopias capital, is homeless or lives in substandard housing. Mekonnen Gebre Egziabher and his wife, Wro Abeba W/Mariam, used to be among this group. The couple had considered themselves lucky to be able to rent a small, one-room mud house. But they and their child were always cold, and when it rained, they were wet, too. Today, their three-room brick Habitat house has an iron roof to protect their growing family. We have a separate place to cook and clean and a convenient toilet, says Wro Abeba W/Mariam. Habitat gives hope not only to us, but to many people.

Safe and warm in their Habitat house for two years, the family now has two children.

Reprinted from Habitat World Magazine, February/March 2001.
This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
©2001 Habitat for Humanity International


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