Every Habitat for Humanity home is special, but they’re even more special as imagined by their youngest residents. When we asked the children of Habitat homeowners all around the world — including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean — to share what having a home has meant to them, we were awed by their response.
From ages 5 to 15, they picked up their favorite pencil, marker or set of crayons and drew what they most loved about their homes. They sketched brightly painted houses and sunny skies, a family gathered around a TV cheering on their favorite sports team, a group of friendly goats grazing in the yard, banana trees swaying in the wind, and so many more images of family life, fun and togetherness. They also told the story of what home means to them, like how special it feels to have a room of their own and a place to play or the comfort of having a home that is dry and safe from the threat of rain.
What we see in their drawings and stories is that no matter what country, city, town or village the home is built in, every Habitat home is built with love and hope for a brighter future. Through their eyes, we are reminded of our wonderful differences and also what connects us — no matter where we live — and how in its simplest form a home is a place to love and be loved.
Habitat partners with families all over the world to build a future where every child, every family, every person has a decent place to call home. Through all the ways that Habitat works, we hold fast to that vision of the future — and theirs.
My name is Althea. I am 5 years old.
My house is colorful and wonderful.
I live there with mommy and daddy.
My favorite room is my playroom. I like to play there with my friends.
My neighborhood is kind.
My name is Gustavo. I am 8 years old.
I was born and I’m growing up in a rural community in Mexico. I have a little brother named Victor Raul. Soon God is sending us a new member of the family. My family is my strength.
I like my community because I’m in contact with many animals. I like to play with my toys. I am a big fan of dinosaurs.
I do my homework at home. When I grow up, I would like to be a doctor so I can help more people.
That’s the story of my life until today.
My name is Katherine. I am 10 years old.
I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My house is tall. The exterior is salmon.
My favorite place in my house is the living room because I have a sofa that’s in front of the window and when it rains, I sit down to see the rain fall. My mom likes it too.
My favorite activity is to cook.
What I like most about my neighborhood are the horses.
My name is Kylan. I am 6 years old.
I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. My house is fun and has space. I live there with my mommy.
My favorite room is my room, and I love the color of my room, which is blue. I like playing sports and flipping around.
What I like most about my house is that my mom worked hard to buy it for us.
My neighbor has other kids my size, and I have a yard.
My name is Alessia. I am 13 years old.
I live in Romania, and I am a student in the sixth grade.
My house is big and roomy.
I live with my brother, my mother and Nonna.
My favorite room is the kitchen. Most of all I like to cook ravioli cinesi, to invite my friends over and to have a mini party together.
My name is Sara. I am 14 years old.
My house is strong.
I live there with my mother and four siblings. What I love about our neighborhood is the banana orchard.
My favorite room in the house is the children’s bedroom. The bedroom has enough light for us.
My favorite holiday to celebrate in my house is Christmas Day. We play a lot of games that include skipping and we go for concerts with my mother.
My name is Kelvin. I am 7 years old.
I live in Kenya. My house is big and clean. The outside is brown and green. I live there with five family members and my pet cat. I like feeding the dog with my uncle and milking the goat.
My favorite room in our house is my bedroom because it’s quiet, and I do my studies there. I have a kitchen garden, and I like resting there and facing Mount Kenya.
My house is warm inside and just big enough for me and my family.
My name is Melanie. I am 15 years old.
I live with my two little sisters and mom and dad. My favorite thing about our house is the windows. My favorite room is the dining room. My family loves to play cards together.
To me, home means to have a loving, safe and comforting environment.
My name is Kristián. I am 9 years old.
I live in Budapest, Hungary. My house is yellow. I live there with my mother, father, three brothers and our dog.
My favorite room is my bedroom because I love my desk there, and I can read there and watch TV. My favorite activity is playing football with my brothers in the backyard.
I like the big table we have in the kitchen and that we can all sit there together. It is big enough for all of us.
I like that my neighborhood is very green with many trees and nice houses.
My name is Raju. I am 11 years old.
My house is beautiful. In our old house we cannot do our homework with friends, but here we can because we have big rooms.
In my neighborhood there are many houses. Here we can play. Here we have a big playground.
My name is David. I am 15 years old.
My house is spacious and calm, the colors are green and coffee.
My favorite place in my house is my bedroom because I feel calm and can sit to make my drawings. I like to draw because that is how I express my feelings.
What I like most about my house is the tranquility.
The best part of my neighborhood is the school. I like it because I learn things that I didn’t know before and they are interesting.
In your words
The importance of home is universal — and it’s why so many people have been inspired to make Habitat for Humanity’s mission their own. Through gifts of time and talent and the raising of walls and funds, volunteers, donors, advocates, staff and partners have carried the work forward to ensure that every family in every community can achieve from the foundation of a strong and stable home.
Jose Luis is a Bryan/College Station Habitat homeowner who experienced chronic housing instability as a young child in Mexico. He and his wife partnered with Habitat to build a home of their own for their two young daughters:
Getting kicked out of our home as a child always stayed with me. So it’s indescribable, really, to have the comfort of being able to provide this home for our kids, to eliminate that worry for them. We didn’t think it would ever happen.
Cliff Popejoy is a 30-year Habitat of Greater Sacramento volunteer who helps to power Habitat homes. As co-leader of the affiliate’s electrical crew, he spends hundreds of volunteer hours a year guiding his 25-person volunteer team to complete the electrical work in every new and renovated home:
I always remind our crew: Look at the families that we’re building with here. Think about the effect our work will have on the homeowners and the next generation and the next generation.
I’m standing on my parent’s shoulders and on my grandparents’ shoulders and so on. They have prepared me well — and it’s a gift to give this love, this life back in some small way.
Tim Lacey is vice president and general manager of Performance Building Solutions and Corian® Design at DuPont, a valued Habitat corporate partner:
Everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to live, and we’re thrilled to partner with Habitat for Humanity and help drive their mission. The community need has become even more critical during the global pandemic, and we’re so proud to help families build a brighter future through the use of our donated products and, more importantly, our volunteer hands. Together, our collaboration will help to build communities, strengthen families and empower the next generation across the globe.
Jennifer Strong of Morrice, Michigan, has been a Habitat HopeBuilder since 2002:
I support Habitat for Humanity because it is an organization with a great mission. I like how it helps change lives for the better. Having a decent place to live positively affects other areas of life.
Alex Delaney is a member of Habitat Young Professionals at Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C.:
I advocate because everyone has a voice that should be heard to shape policy on issues they’re passionate about. I believe having a safe, decent and affordable home provides safety, stability and a sense of accomplishment to families, giving them a foundation to build their lives on. I choose to use my voice to help make sure that mission is able to continue and grow.
Shereese Turner is chief program officer at Twin Cities Habitat:
I see myself in those we serve, and I’m reminded to never forget the struggles, what led me there and what it took to overcome them to achieve homeownership.