Meet the family whose lives you can help transform on Rock the House

On a recent trip to Yogyakarta, Habitat for Humanity Australia staff member, Dan Peyton met Ngadeli and his wife Sadirah. Volunteers on Rock the House will be working alongside families like Ngadeli and Sadirah. Dan shares his experience meeting the family…



Ngadeli and his wife Sadirah, both in their late 50’s, are living in what can only be described as a patchwork house. Their home in Yogyakarta, Indonesia has been cobbled together using whatever materials they can gather from near their home. Bamboo, pieces of wood, and even old hessian bags are all that protects them from the elements.

When you earn the equivalent of $2.50 a day there is little other choice. They work hard day in, day out as labourers on a farm however Ngadeli still often has to pick up the occasional construction job to supplement their income. Sadly, when their earnings are mostly spent on making repairs to the home, it doesn’t leave much for the other basics in life like food and clean water.

When I asked them to describe the condition of their home Sadirah said, “We are afraid of the wild rain. To repair our home (after storms) we get pieces of wood from many different places.”

One of these pieces adorns the house right next to the front door. On it is romantically painted two names with a love heart, both of whom are strangers to Ngadeli and Sadirah. When materials are hard to come by, aesthetics aren’t important.

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The inside of Ngadeli and Sadirah’s current home.

Thankfully, the days of living with the constant worry about safe shelter will soon be over for Ngadeli and Sadirah. They have been selected to receive a Habitat house later this year and will have the support of a team of Australian volunteers.

“We are very happy and grateful to God. I pray every day for us to receive help to have a new house, and God has given back”, said Sadirah.

Their faces light up when they speak about what opportunities a new home will open up to them, and their family. Their son works and rents a bed in a factory in Jakarta, but a new home would mean he could move home to work, and live with his parents.

“It will be better for us if our kids can live in a better place, so if Australian’s can join the build we will be very happy,” said Sadirah before emotion took over and she couldn’t say anything more.

Before leaving I noticed a large pile of bricks to the side of the house, and wondering how they could have afforded them, asked Ngadeli where they came from. He simply held up his hands, and explained that he made them himself using the pile of dirt in the front yard. The pride and excitement in his voice, and in his face, as he showed us his bricks was truly heart-warming.

As we hugged them both, and said our goodbyes they picked two large papayas from a tree in their garden. Despite having so little themselves, they wouldn’t let us leave without them. Looking back at them as we walked away was difficult, and tears began to well up, but I was comforted in the fact that better times were ahead, and an army of Australian volunteers were on their way to help build a safe, decent home that will changes the lives of this family for generations.

You can volunteer and help Ngadeli and Sadira build a safe and decent home. Sign up to Rock the House today. For a limited time, registrants will receive a free build week pack including heavy duty gloves and other essentials for the week.

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