Helping with housing...changing lives
Over the years we’ve built dozens of homes for the vulnerable at risk and replaced hundreds of roofs.
Each house built is individual, and appropriate to need and environment - sometimes it’s for those sick with AIDS, disabled by leprosy or disease, or weakened by age, but it’s always life-changing when a safe new home replaces a building threatening collapse at any moment.
Just a handful of examples.....
This is a typical family unit so common in Malawi - an elderly widow and a clutch of orphans. They’re standing in front of what was left of their home, a partially collapsed ruin; insecure, dangerous & vulnerable.
Doris’ children had died, leaving her responsible for her grandchildren’s care - food, clothing, education, shelter - with no income. Compelled by their need for safety, we built Doris a new house. At this stage it was just waiting for its roof to be finished, but she was delighted!
Despite being HIV+, this young mother struggles to bring up her 3 young children and support her husband who has serious mental health issues.
Her mud-brick home was terminally damaged in storms, and she couldn’t replace it. Her only income was from the firewood she brought down from the mountain for sale in the market —an exhausting, time consuming, and menial task.
So we built her a simple, basic house, appropriate to her location and family circumstances, made of burnt brick for strength and longevity, and even included the “luxury” of 2 glazed windows!
We first met Fanny after an Elderlies’ Luncheon on site, when she asked for help with housing. She was elderly and frail, and claimed to be living on a veranda, so we visited to assess her situation. We were horrified by what we found—not only was her sleeping mat on bare ground, but it wasn’t even under shelter, just tucked between a neighbour’s kitchen and toilet. But what was worse, she was trying to care for two orphans, both girls, 5 &14 years old. All three shared the sleeping mat out in the open at night without any kind of shelter, or security—at the mercy of the elements and at risk of violence or sexual attack.
So we found them temporary accommodation, raised the necessary resources, and built a sturdy little house. 4 weeks later, Fanny and her girls moved into their new home—safe and comfortable
Margaret’s house was disintegrating around her, the roof was collapsing and the walls, dark, damp and windowless, barely supported the ill-fitting door.
Margaret is AIDS affected, her husband died the year before, leaving her to care for their 5 children, plus an orphan, with no income. They’re all hungry much of the time.
A new house was designed, bricks bought, doors & windows ordered, foundations dug, walls built, roof joists and metal roofing fitted—and just 19 days after the bricks were delivered, the house was ready for habitation —much to the delight of Margaret and her family. She now has a sturdy, safe, secure home which should last her, and her children, for decades. We also included her on our Food Programme.
This lady is about 76 years old, and having lost 3 older children, cares for her 2 adult sons who both have severe learning difficulties. Her original house collapsed in cyclones and since then they had been living in a small unroofed room of poles and grass.
Though Mary finds much of life challenging, she now has a safe home for her boys, and we also built a new toilet, provided bedding, and included her in our Food Programme.
So many stories, so many lives, so many needs:
- Miriam in her teens, having lost both parents, homeless and responsible for her siblings
- Francis epileptic, with learning disabilities, living in rubble...
- Annie, HIV+, sleeping with her children on the streets
- Afale - elderly, frail, hungry...
- Mosiwa, elderly, AIDS-affected with leprosy, his wife and 2 orphans living in dangerously decrepit housing
- Falace's house was destroyed by fire, her family living in ruins...
- Memory, blind, AIDS-affected and homeless...
- Eliza with 2 children, one a chronically disabled daughter, was living in one tiny room behind a straw door
- Sanderson & his wife, frail, elderly, caring for 2 orphans in borrowed crumbling accommodation
... just some of those we've helped with housing