Rajappan Jagdeshwaran, his wife, and their son were displaced by the war for many years when in 2016 they were selected as beneficiaries of the ‘Homes not Houses Project’ funded by the European Union in Kilinochchi. He had the opportunity of attending community meetings that oriented the beneficiaries on this groundbreaking housing initiative which promoted the construction of homes using appropriate technology and locally sourced construction materials.

Having been selected as a family that would receive a model house constructed with Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB), Jagdeshwaran had the opportunity to witness first hand the innovative technology used to construct his home. His model home has been open to the public on many occasions providing other families the opportunity to also experience the difference of a home built with appropriate technology as opposed to a home constructed with conventional cement blocks.

Today, Jagdeshwaran has become a champion of the CSEB appropriate technology, as he appreciates the many benefits of owning a home constructed with environmentally-friendly earth blocks. The construction of the home took only two months, with Jagdeshwaran working side-by-side with the masons and Technical Officers of Habitat for Humanity, participating actively in the design and construction of his own home. He is grateful to the European Union and Habitat for Humanity for giving him the hand-up he needed to rebuild his life after decades of displacement. He prides himself in being able to finally provide his family with a safe, stable and permanent place to call home.

Ours is a CSEB model house and only two months were taken to construct it. We have been living in this home for a year now and we have had no problems at all. CSEB homes are much cooler than traditional homes.  Especially in this warm weather during the day when we go out and come back inside, we feel the difference as we are able to breathe very comfortably.

We prefer the earth blocks as the technology behind it was clearly explained to us at the  Community Meetings. I took leave from my job and helped in the construction working alongside the masons and technical officers from Habitat. They were very responsive and assisted us promptly.

Jagdeshwaran

Homes not Houses -EU Project, 2019