Miroslaw's daughter holding their pet cat.

Foundation for a better future

In the corner of the one room Mirosław and his family call home, there is a little desk. Come homework time, his children take turns sitting at it. “It’s a problem — sometimes they want to do their work at the same time,” says Mirosław. “They need their own desk. They need their own corner.”

Mirosław, a potato farmer in a village in central Poland, is not someone who asks for help. However, he and his wife, Agata, longed for their children to have a desk of their own, a corner of their own, and that led them to Habitat Poland. Today, a new addition is going up beside the one room where the children study and play and where everyone eats and sleeps.

The new space will bring about a lot of change, Mirosław says. “Every human being has the right to a dignified life.” For the children, he says, dignity means a home where they aren’t ashamed to invite their friends over. It means an opportunity for the children to succeed in school. “It is the parent’s responsibility to provide their children with a chance for education — the foundation for a better future,” Mirosław says.

He and his wife had come up with plans for the addition, but “we did not feel ready to bear such a financial weight of building it,” he says. Habitat Poland and partners have helped the family with technical assistance, building materials and loans to cover direct construction costs. Global Village volunteers from seven countries have built alongside Mirosław and his family.

“I keep on looking at how our house, how it was rising to the sky, thanks to people of goodwill who wanted to help us,” Mirosław says. “I have never encountered this way of helping. I like it. It sets a good example for my family and a good example for the community. A human being helping another human being can accomplish great things.” 

Habitat Poland: Housing solutions in action

Habitat Poland exemplifies multiple ways of addressing a dire housing crisis. Though there are many different needs, there is no one solution — so Habitat innovates through renovations, advocacy, housing revitalization programs and more.

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