The home that withstood Cyclone Winston

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The home that withstood Cyclone Winston

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Taito’s story

Taito lived in a makeshift tarpaulin house with his wife, two children, mother-in-law and sister-in-law in Fiji.

Their home was not structurally safe to withstand strong winds. Taito recalled that during heavy rains, water would come through the roof and walls and flood their house. Exposure to the elements placed the family at risk, made them feel insecure and also left them vulnerable to illness. This was a grave concern for Taito’s mother-in-law, who was already very ill.

For Taito, it was so important to have a safe and decent home to ensure his children were safe and that his mother-in-law’s health wouldn’t further deteriorate.

Taito before
Taito’s house before

“Having a house is means everything to me and my family. A house that will not let in water is a safe shelter for happiness and hope and it is a dream come true,” said Taito. “A family home will be a very precious place where my children will grow up healthier. My children will be able to do their homework and feel proud. Having a house away from the wind and rain to live in will mean we can all smile knowing we will be safe.”

Last November a team of 17 students from Abbotsleigh traveled to Fiji as part of our Global Village program to help make this dream come true. They spent a week working side-by-side Taito to build a home for his family.

When Cyclone Winston hit on Saturday with gusts of up to 325 kilometres per hour, Taito and his family welcomed others in their village into their home. They huddled together in their home and waited out the storm.

Sadly, while other houses in the vicinity were severely damaged, Taito’s home was still standing and his family and others in the community were safe after seeking shelter in the Habitat-built home.

The Toso Viti team is travelling to Fiji in July. Read more about how you can volunteer and help families in Fiji here.

Please donate today to help others whose homes and lives have been devastated by Cyclone Winston donate