A Mother’s Dream

A Mother’s Dream

A Mother’s Dream

Perinparasa takes care of a household with 7 vibrant members in it. She is a daily wage laborer and works regularly at nearly by paddy fields. Her husband is a fisherman and spends most of his time at the coast of Batticaloa looking for work to provide for their family.

Her eldest son works in Saudi Arabia and earns a salary of LKR. 25,000/- (approx USD 160), and sends his family in Batticaloa a portion of it to contribute to their living expenses.A Mother’s Dream

Perinparsa commented that “a home is where a family can live happily together and feel safe no matter what problems happen in life”.

Her eldest daughter Shyalini (20 years old) is looking at new opportunities for work, and has applied for jobs at reputable local companies to widen her horizons so she can also help take care of her five younger siblings. She is excitedely waiting for a seccond interview with a globally renown garment factory in Batticaloa. Should she succed in securing a job, Shyalini would be the first woman to be employed and receive a stable income in her family.

This conventional home constructed through the “Homes not Houses” European Union funded project, has given a safe space for Perinparasa’s children to grow up in, and for them to create happy memories together, while having the necessary space and security to study and play.

Dyanamic and playful children of Perinparasa now have a safe place to play, and a strong roof over their head to keep them safe.

 

A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home

Sivarasa is a hardworking man who takes care of not only his wife and 3 children, but also his parents. His father (78) and his mother (72) are excited to see their grandchildren grow up in a home that is theirs as a family, and take pride in the fact that they finally own a home, after being displaced during the years of the civil war.A Place to Call Home

The 7 of them are a very close and happy family, and Sivarasa’s wife Somasundari is most thankful for the safety that their home gives them all. Despite the impact and fear the civil war had on their life, she remarked how she and her husband persisted, and were grateful when they got the news that they would become homeowners through this project. They worked hard to earn and save to start this new chapter of their lives. She also mentioned how she feels blessed as a mother to know that no matter where her children go in life, they always have a stable place to come back to that is home to all of them.

Sivarasa explains; “this home is a ladder for my children to dream and do things we were not able to when we were their age”.

A Place to Call Home-TB

Defying the odds

Defying the odds

Defying the odds

Ruby is a vibrant young lady who works at the CSEB Production Yard in Batticaloa in a supervisory capacity while simultaneously playing a role of a SME representative.

Ruby has been working at the yard for nearly 05 months and takes pride in being able to work in a predominantly male dominant field in her hometown. “This is my village” she very proudly commented when asked why she loved working the CSEB Yard in Batticaloa. Ruby also told us that the CSEB yards working population consisted mostly of women, and that this made her feel excited to keep coming to work and break the cycle of women being discouraged to be breadwinners in their families. Ruby exclaimed how keen she is to continue to learn more about the EU funded “Homes not Houses” project and keep contributing to it as much as she can, while encouraging the women around her to do so as well.

EU-Web Story Ruby1

EU-Web Story Ruby 2

Turning dreams into reality

Turning dreams into reality

Turning dreams into reality

Sathiyaran (47 years old) and her husband Thiyagarasa are parents to 5 children, 3 of whom are married and living with their own families. Their youngest daughters live with them at present, while one daughter (22) is looking for a job so she can help to support her family financially. Their youngest daughter (19) is studying for her G.C.E Advance Level examination. Before they were selected to receive a home through the “Homes not Houses” project funded by the European Union, they were among the thousands of families who were displaced by the war. Sathiyaran’s family was forced to live in her parents’ house, sharing a small house with 02 other families, all desperately trying to keep safe from the prevailing violence.Sathiyaran

Sathiyaran and her husband worked hard to save money to one day buy a land for their own family. Sathiyaran was enterprising and cooked and sold food in their local area, while her husband Thiyagarasa continued to work as a daily wage laborer. Together they saved enough money to buy the land that their beautiful Habitat home now stands on. Sathiyaran proudly shares how her daughters have also been active in making their house a true home by giving unique touches to their Habitat home; like the splash of bright pink on their window frames. Sathiyaran commented that she is happy knowing that her daughters have a safe place to call home – “and after years of living just day to day, we have no fear at night now, because we are safe”.

EU Web Story-Sathiyaran-ii
EU Web Story-Sathiyaran

From surviving to thriving

From surviving to thriving

From surviving to thriving

Prior to shifting into their conventional home constructed by Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka through the European Union funded housing project, Sinnathamby, his wife and four daughters lived with extended family and was gradually able to build a temporary shelter.

As a family, they faced many challenges to seek security during the war, but were fortunate enough to resettle in their own land, and in their own village once the war had ended. The head of the household; Sinnathamby at age 62; works as a daily wage laborer and remarked how difficult it was to build a home on his own, while also providing for his family. His eldest daughter, Dharshini aged 20 was blessed in marriage last year, and now he is supporting his younger daughters who are all going to school.

They are aged 17 (Usha), 13 (Tharani) and 12 (Nisha), and are eager to do well with their studies. Sinnathamby and his wife commented on how Habitat Sri Lanka and the EU team came together and helped them to regain control of their life, which was full of uncertainty.

They now have a safe lockable home that is able to give the essential sense of security for their daughters.


Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka builds a brighter future with families in ‘Homes not Houses’ project funded by the European Union

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka builds a brighter future with families in ‘Homes not Houses’ project funded by the European Union

"Thillainathan

COLOMBO, 14 June 2018 – For the 25 years that she is married, Ushathevi never had a permanent house. “My husband and I came from poor families but ours was a love marriage.” They used to live wherever they could find work as daily wage laborers. After being displaced by Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2006, they lived for over a decade in a temporary shelter given by a nongovernmental organization.

In 2017, Ushathevi, 43 and her husband, 47, marked their silver wedding anniversary by moving into a permanent home.  Their house in Vilavettuvan village, Batticaloa province, eastern Sri Lanka, was completed on August 22, 2017. They moved in the next day that was considered an auspicious date.

Ushathevi and Thillainathan were the first to build their home with compressed stabilized earth blocks, an alternative construction material that is promoted under the “Homes not Houses” project. Funded by the European Union, the project is implemented by Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka and World Vision Sri Lanka. As of 31 May, 2018, 353 homes have been constructed and more than 1,836 homes are currently in different phases of construction in the eastern district of Batticaloa and the northern districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. The multi-year project includes the construction of conventional brick-and-mortar houses as well as homes that are built with alternative construction materials such as compressed stabilized earth blocks.

Thillainathan had applied to become a Habitat homeowner after he learned of the European Union-funded project. “I heard that Habitat is providing special blocks. My wife and I visited the yard and checked the blocks. After we saw that compressed stabilized earth blocks were stronger than fired bricks or cement sand blocks, we decided to build a house with CSEBs.”

At the block yard in Batticaloa, they saw demonstrations on the blocks’ strength and durability that were conducted by Habitat Sri Lanka and its partner organization World Vision Sri Lanka. Despite being immersed in water, the edges of the blocks remained intact and did not dissolve, said Thillainathan. He also observed that the blocks did not break when thrown on the ground. Later, he did the same strength test with the blocks that were brought to construction site for his house.

During the house construction, Thillainathan helped to mix mortar, sieve sand and move materials such as blocks, timber and tiles. Both he and his wife also cleaned up the build site.

Local community members visiting the home of Thillainathan and Ushathevi. Photo: Habitat for Humanity/Jim Kendall.

People from the local community checking out the newly completed house of Thillainathan and Ushathevi. Photo: Habitat for Humanity/Jim Kendall.

Since moving in, Thillainathan estimated that they have received up to 1,000 visitors, many of whom are interested in building a home like theirs. “I told them that this is the best house for us. There is no need to expect more,” he said, adding that all the visitors have only good things to say about his house. Pointing out that the temperature is cool inside his home, Thillainathan said: “If they (the visitors) build a house like mine, they will also get the same benefits.”

Meanwhile, Ushathevi could still recall the days of living in a door-less temporary shelter. “Whenever there was heavy rain, I would put pieces of cloth all around to absorb the water that came in; I couldn’t sleep because I had to keep wringing the water out of the cloths.” Whenever the children had to do their homework, the family could not go to sleep because space was limited in the temporary shelter. Now that they have their own room, the children are also going to bed earlier, Thillainathan noted.

Thillainathan and Ushathevi inside their house made of compressed stabilized earth blocks. Photo: Habitat for Humanity/Nihan.

Thillainathan and Ushathevi inside their house made of compressed stabilized earth blocks. Photo: Habitat for Humanity/Nihan.

Their family used to relieve themselves in the bushes though they were afraid of being seen as well as being bitten by insects. With their own toilet next to the house, they have more privacy and safety. They get water that is piped in from their own well.

While the family has started a home-garden growing vegetables such as okra, eggplant and chilli, Ushathevi is planning for the future. In three to four years’ time, she wishes to paint the interior of the walls. “I will choose one color for the blocks and another color for the grooves. I will consult the painter about this.”

Thillainathan gave the reason for holding off the painting of the walls. “Until the Habitat-EU project is completed, people are still visiting our house. If we paint the walls, they can’t see the blocks. Now people are saying that the blocks look nice without being painted.”