New beginnings for Habitat homeowners in NEPAL
Habitat for Humanity Nepal celebrated its 5,000th home this summer at a site in Jhapa district in the east of the mountainous nation. The milestone was reached by the fast-growing program in a country where tens of thousands of families live in substandard housing. One day later, Habitat Nepal broke ground on its 5,001st house in a new urban-slum-upgrade project in Kavre district, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu.
A highlight of the 5,000th house dedication ceremony was a special campaign designed to raise awareness of the need for safe, decent and affordable housing. More than 4,000 students—together with Habitat Nepal home partners and local supporters—gathered in Jhapa to draw their dream houses on a cloth banner 5,000 meters (3 miles) in length. By the time the banner was done, 1,500 liters of paint and 1,200 brushes had been used. The banner was displayed in and around the town hall where the house dedication ceremony was held and later presented to government officials.
For Rita Sarki and Madan, their Habitat home marks the beginning of a new life. The couple had been living with Madan’s family in a nearby farming community for the past eight years. “There were over eight persons living in the house, so we had little room to ourselves,” says 23-year-old Rita. “This home will enable us to have the family we have always wanted.”
A day after the 5,000th house celebration, another couple in Kavre district marked their own new beginning. For Anita Danuwar and her husband, Sanu, who are expecting their first child, a Habitat house is most welcome. During the ground-breaking ceremony for their new home, a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was read.