TV personalities Adam and Lisa, are generously supporting our work and last November travelled with a team of Australian volunteers to build safe, secure homes in Chitwan Nepal for families living in a slum. 36 houses were constructed in total, with almost 500 volunteers from ten countries donating their time, labour and support.
“It’s a chance for us to give back after our good fortune,” said Lisa, who visited the slum area with Adam to see where families have lived for up to forty years without electricity, a weather-proof roof or a toilet.
Adam and Lisa bonded with our Nepalese partner families and worked with them to build new homes from locally sourced bamboo and mud render. The 3-room houses each have an outside sheltered toilet, which will improve sanitation and their overall health, allowing them to attend school and work more frequently.
Kali and Birbahadur left Dhangadi city in the far west of Nepal for Chitwan more than 20 years ago, in search of better work and life prospects. Although they found work as seasonal labourers they lived in a single-room house with mud walls and a tin sheet roof, where they bought up three children. The family had many health problems. The children were unable to study well or play at ease in a house that was cramped, dark and offered little ventilation.
Kali worked alongside Adam and Lisa, and 24 other Australian volunteers, for five days – shucking bamboo and weaving it into frames, before rendering the walls with mud. Kali’s husband Birbahadur was away working most days – Kali explained that when he didn’t work the family couldn’t eat the following day.
The family told us their new home is a dream come true and offers them real hope for a prosperous future. For the first time, they own the land on which they live, giving them security for generations to come.
Devi and Saroj share a one-bedroom home with their three children in the same informal settlement as Kali and her family. By partnering with Habitat for Humanity they have been given an interest-free loan to build a safe house they can call their own. The community works together, so that if one family needs help repaying their loan, another family will help them out. Devi said this gives her peace of mind, knowing her children – and then their children – will have a secure, permanent home.