A Promise Kept

A Promise Kept

The little rustic village of Vallipuanam in Mullaitivu, once ravaged by war, was abuzz with celebration as Rajeshwary boiled traditional milk in her new home in September 2019. Adaikan Rajeshwary’s eyes lit with joy and pride at the restoration of her family’s dignity. The transition from a tin hut to an eco-friendly home was a big milestone for her. Beaming with pride inside her new Habitat home, Rajeshwari said: “I am so happy that Habitat kept their promise and now I have a beautiful home not only for myself but for also my aged parents.”

The fully completed, environmentally-friendly, lockable house was home not only to her, but also her aged parents. As incense sticks were lit in prayer to the deities that blessed her, she also thanked Habitat for keeping their promise and reassuring her of safety, shelter and sustainability.

Rajeshwary is among the 2,325 families selected to benefit through the ‘Homes not Houses Project’ funded by the European Union, which seeks to provide war-affected families with permanent homes in the Districts of Batticaloa, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

Covid-19 Statement by Jonathan Reckford, Habitat CEO

Covid-19 Statement by Jonathan Reckford, Habitat CEO

ATLANTA (March 23, 2020) — Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford issued the following statement regarding the economic ripple effects of COVID-19:

With each passing day, we all find ourselves trying to adapt to the measures required to combat the spread of COVID-19. In countries and cultures all around the world, “stay at home” is the message of the moment. “Shelter in place.”

It’s the right thing to do, and if we are all able to flatten the curve, we know that we will have, together, saved countless lives.

But all of us at Habitat for Humanity also know that there are far too many families for whom this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. The uncertainty so many of us feel today, these families have felt for a lifetime — if not generations.

Where for many “shelter in place” means figuring out logistics and adjusting mindsets, for others it only exacerbates the conditions with which they have struggled for so long. Houses already not healthy because of leaks or mold. Homes already overcrowded because the only way to afford rent or save up money is for extended family to stay together in a too-small space. Homes without easy access to a constant water supply. Spaces that shelter, but only just.

Where for many “stock up on what you need” means a frustrating, jarring trip through the inconveniently (and temporarily) hit-or-miss-stocked shelves of a local market, for others it’s a reminder of how close to the financial edge they already live. Imagine that, for these families, shopping for supplies always feels this way — not because of the crowds around them hurrying to acquire whatever they can, but because they have to make terrible choices every day. In order to make sure the rent can be paid, which would you choose? Filling a basket with healthy groceries. Filling a necessary prescription. Filling the tank of your car with the fuel that allows you to do either.

When these are the choices you face, you can’t win. As the economic shocks from this crisis ripple out, these same families will be hardest hit. They always are. For far too many, as businesses have closed and hourly workers have lost their jobs, it has already begun.

These are the families with whom we partner. They are going to need our hand up now more than ever. And now more than ever, our work — much like flattening the curve — will require all of us, together. You can help us help these families, these communities, our neighbors build back. Stronger, in solidarity and with your support.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S., and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.

 

 

Safe at Last

Safe at Last

Samithambi is a mother of two, who takes care of them and her husband who recovered recently from a hip surgery. Her husband was thankfully able to go through his healing process within the stable environment and comfort that their new home provides. To Samithambi, this home is a blessing that came into their lives at a time of difficulty.

They live in an area that is prone to elephant attacks. As a result, they used to live in constant fear when living in their temporary shelter which provided limited protection. During times of heavy rains, water would seep through their tin roof flooding their temporary shelter, destroying what little belongings they owned. Safe from adverse weather conditions and wild elephant attacks, their new Habitat home has become a symbol of new beginnings and a beacon of hope for Samithambi’s entire family.

I now feel safer knowing that my children have a safe place to call home and we are protected during times of heavy rain.

Samithambi

Indian Housing Project, Batticaloa 2018