Light at the End of the Tunnel

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Saranapala, has been visually impaired since birth; however this has never stopped him from striving hard to build a better life for himself and his family. Saranapala and his wife Indrani live in Nayanalokagama with their Son, Daughter-in-law and three grandkids aged 14, 12 and 6.

Apart from their previous house being overcrowded they also faced a sanitary and hygiene issues. Their bathing and sanitation area was located outside of the house – which was challenging to access at night especially for Saranapala. Their previous toilet was a fragile temporary structure which was made with tarpaulin covers. There was minimal privacy and was not a lockable structure. The roof of their house was constantly leaking whenever it rained and they did not have adequate space to stay or keep their belongings safe.

Saranapala says, feels that being selected to receive a home through Habitat’s Homes for Hope Project, has been the turning point in his life. Moving into their new Habitat home has been an amazing experience for Saranapala and Indrani. His wife Indrani, was especially moved by the generous support of the volunteers who supported Habitat Sri Lanka through the Global Village program. “I wanted to work alongside them to show them how much I appreciated their kindness”

Their children contributed by providing their new home with brand new furniture – as a sign of sharing the joy of this new chapter in life. They are now able to live a life that is filled with contentment – and hope for better days. The burden of building a home is now off their shoulders; and together they are able to focus on living a fruitful and joyful life with the rest of their family.

I was depressed for many years, that there was just no way for me to provide my family a safe home. Now living in this new home I have become much more positive in my outlook on life. I am much happier than before, thank you Habitat.

Saranapala

Homes for Hope Project, Kalutara 2020

A Foundation of Hope

A Foundation of Hope

Palitha and Kanthimalika, lived with their daughter and her family in a shelter made of wooden planks and metal sheets. Their daughter worked in a local grocery store, her husband earning a daily wage through rickshaw hires. The latter which was rented consumed most of his earnings leaving him with the bare minimum with which to support his family. Cramped in a limited space that afforded neither safety nor adequate shelter, this family of five survived as best they could. In November 2017 when Cyclone Ockhi ravaged the South of Sri Lanka, this family barely made it out alive when the strong winds blew away their home. All their belongings, including their little grand-daughter Savisha Muthuhansi’s school books were swept away, along with any hopes of building a better future for themselves. Kalutara, where Palitha and Kanthimalika lived was the worst hit area, where over 55,000 people were affected.  Left with only the clothes on their backs, Palitha and Kanthimalika, bereft of anything to call their own, but their precious family, found new hope when they became the proud owners of their own Habitat Home.

“We never dreamed that a house like this could be our own” says Kanthimalika, as with tears in her eyes she looks about the home that she has furnished with pride. Bright pink walls, gaily coloured curtains, an alter where the oil lamp burns relentlessly, potted plants breathing new life,  it is a home filled with the warmth of hope and thanksgiving.

The family’s dreams are now for the bright future that young Savisha has before her. Delighted with the ample and safe play area she has to call her own, Savisha, enclosed in the warm embrace of her grandmothers arms, with a bright sparkle in her eye, confidently declares ” when I grow up I want to have a job – I want to be a teacher”. With big smiles and eyes tender with love, Palitha and Kanthimalika, look on with pride, assured that with the new home they invested in with their labour and meagre savings, they have helped their daughter build a solid foundation of hope for their beloved Savisha.

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.

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.” – Vajira, Vincentiyanygama

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.

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.

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.

“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.