New Beginnings

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

 

Vajira and her family moved into their first own home constructed through the Kalutara Housing Project lead by Habitat for Humanity on the 1st of April 2018.

Vajira was compelled to be the breadwinner of her family because her husband had an unfortunate accident and lost his thumb while was operating heavy machinery at his job- and due to this situation, he is unable to find a paying job.New Beginnings

Vajira recalls a time when they lived in a wooden shack they called home. She feared for her daughters safety in their previous home as it wouldget flooded during the rainy season. Today Vajira says she is no longer afraid for her daughter’s safety as they finally have a safe place to call home. This Habitat home is more than a house to her family – it is a relief to  an otherwise difficult life, where only Vajira is abe to bring an income into their household.

Vajira and her family, moments before they step into their Habitat Home and begin their new, uplifted life.

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.

 

The Road to Recovery

The Road to Recovery

The Road to Recovery

Sujeewa beams with glee as she welcomes guests into her first home owned by her family, after years of living in houses that were rented. Sujeewa’s husband Susil (48) is a cancer survivor, who currently owns a rickshaw and takes hires to bring a steady income for their family.Road to recovery

Their eldest daughter (23) is married and lives with her own family; their second daughter (21) works at a local grocery store and helps with the finances at home and saves for her own future, while their three youngest daughters are still attending school.  Sujeewa explains how owning a house was an unrealistic dream a few years ago with her husband being diagnosed with cancer.

It was a difficult time and Sujeewa had many worries about the safety of her daughters alongside the duty of caring for her husband. “With God’s grace my husband is now cured and my children are safe under this new roof” Sujeewa said. Now with a secure home, Sujeewa is able to live with fewer worries, and is optimistic to see her daughters having a stable place to study and enhance their future.

Sujeewa stands proudly together with her husband and their 5 daughters in their new Habitat Home

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

Sudarshani and Indika live in their new Habitat home with their four children aged 17, 11, 8 and 4 and Sudarshani’s elderly mother. The family of seven previously lived in a single room temporary shelter made of wooden planks, which Indika had sourced from the neighbourhood.A Dream Come True

“This is a dream come true for our family. I believe this new home is the beginning of a brand new chapter in our lives”
Indika’s main livelihood is deep sea fishing, however since Sudarshani suffers from Epilepsy, Indika has been unable to leave his family for long periods of time and has been working as a daily wage labourer in order to care for his family during this difficult time. With the increase in cost of living and the lack of daily wage labour opportunities Indika says their family has been struggling to cover their basic needs in the last two years. Given their circumstances Sudarshani and Indika firmly believe that their new Habitat Home was indeed a blessing from God, as they could otherwise never imagine owning a home of their own.

Sudarshani who was excited to show us her new home which they had taken much care in decorating. She said, “This is a dream come true for our family. I believe this new home is the beginning of a brand-new chapter in our lives”. She is confident that her children now have a safe place to grow up in.

Sudarshani has been undergoing treatment for her seizures and with the help of her mother, she is now looking to gain employment in the nearby village. Indika too feels that he no longer has to fear for the safety of his family because of their new home, and he is once again hoping to begin his fishing expeditions.

Indika and Sudarshini celebrate their house- warming day with their family – and make plans for a brighter future

Hope of the Next Generation

Hope of the Next Generation

Hope of the Next Generation

Upon being displaced in Batticaloa after the civil war for eight months, 52 year old Kumaraguru explains how extremely “happy and hopeful for this new chapter in life” he is. Kumaraguru lost his boutique shop; Hope of the Next Generationhis only source of income during the war due to a bombing that took place in his village and he unfortunately hasn’t been able to financially recover ever since. Kumaraguru and his family had to give up their house as dowry when his elder daughter got married, this compelled Kumaraguru along with his wife, son and two daughters to move into a temporary shelter adjoining their main house.

Despite all the obstacles Kumaraguru has faced in life he says “things are improving gradually” -from his daughters receiving sound education, to his son taking pride in helping construct their new home; Kumaraguru has restored a lot of hope for the future of his children. As a father, Kumaraguru expressed his role in making sure to provide his kids with the element of safety with the new house. Kumaraguru says he’s “happy to be part of Indian Housing Project”.

Kumaraguru’s daughters, Sudharshi (28) and Sinthuja(23), are both graduates and ambitious girls. They are excited for their new home and what their future beholds.

Sudharshi and Sinthuja; daughters of Kumaraguru – both empowered and educated sisters; collectively believe that their new home will be the foundation for their future.

Hope of a Brighter Tomorrow

Hope of a Brighter Tomorrow

Hope of a Brighter Tomorrow

Mohanaledchami is expecting her second child in early August, and is currently preparing for this new addition to her life. She lives with her husband, her daughter (10), her mother and her mother in-law; and they are Hope of a Brighter Tomorrowa very close-knit family

Mohanaledchami remarks that she is beyond relieved to be able bring her new baby to a home that will become the foundation to her complete family and is so grateful to Habitat Sri Lanka and the Indian Housing Project for this milestone in their life.

Mohanaledchami’s 10 year old daughter Pavitra is excited about her new Habitat home as well; she has planned to decorate the house in various ways and is mostly looking forward to having a room to share with her new baby sibling. When asked what Pavitra would do first in her new room, she gleamed and said “Study!”

Pavitra snuggles up to her grandmother as she is asked how she will decorate her own room in their new Habitat Home.

The area they live in demands that Mohanaledchami has to walk miles to fetch water several times a day to get clean water in order to keep their storage full. She says that having this home lifts a great burden off her because she now knows that her family will have adequate sanitation in their new home, as well as the security that they have prayed to have all these years.

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

Ruby

Ruby

Ruby

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

Sathiyaran

Sathiyaran

Sathiyaran

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

Sinnathamby Sathasram

Sinnathamby Sathasram

Sinnathamby Sathasram

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.