We just received more information about the families and orphans we’ll be helping in Malawi with Habitat for Humanity. We can’t wait to meet them and play a big part in improving their lives soon.
Jessie Makwiti, who comes from Geregere village (under Traditional Authority Nkanda) in Mulanje district, lost her husband a long time ago. She currently takes care of her late sister’s children; Esmie and Asiyireni. After the demise of their mother, their father went away to Mozambique and his whereabouts are since not known. Jessie also takes care of Esmie’s two year old child whose father denied responsibility. Jessie and Esmie sell firewood to get income and they also do small scale farming.
Jessie stays with the children in a one-roomed house which is small and not in good condition. Besides her family, Jessie’s sister Phoebe, her four children and her one grandchild also sought shelter in the same small house after her house collapsed due to heavy rains. Besides being small, the roof of the house also leaks heavily during the rainy season and the walls are cracking. “Things are not okay here. As you can see the space is not enough and the room is overcrowded. When it rains we just cover ourselves with a plastic sheet so that we do not get soaked,” she lamented. On sanitation, the family does not have a toilet structure so they rely on their relatives.
Owning a habitat house
“I long to live in a dignified house i.e. a house roofed with iron sheets and with a cement floor. A house that is spacious so that my children will be living comfortably. Life will completely change and all these problems will be history,” she said.
GIVEGROWGO is looking forward to building a home for Jessie and 9 others aged 2 months to 30 years old.
Lydia Fletcher hails from Geregere village (under traditional Authority Nkanda) in Mulanje district. Lydia lives with Hantiwa and his siblings following the demise of their mother in 2006. The children also lost their father in 2005. Lydia despite her age, engages herself in small scale farming and piece works to fend for the children. She sometimes brews and sells local gin to get income.
On shelter, the family’s house is not structurally sound. The walls are dilapidated and the roof is in bad condition. Lydia added that the size of the house is also small relative to the composition of her family. “I am not happy with the way we live. I sleep on the living room which is also used for cooking and I let the boys sleep in the only bedroom we have so that they can fit in. The problem is that when they want to go and pass urine outside during the night, they pass over me while I am asleep. This is not right culturally; I am a woman and they are growing old,” she said.
She also explained that life is even harder when it rains and especially at night: “this roof leaks heavily such that we do not sleep. We just sit waiting for the rains to stop. When it rains during the day, I drain the water out and smear the floor.” The family does not have a toilet structure so they use their relatives’.
Owning a Habitat House
Lydia says she will be happy to move out of her current house which she describes as pitiable and live in a better place. “In addition to no more leaking, there will be privacy in terms of the sleeping arrangement. The children will no longer have to trip over me while I am asleep when they are going outside to relieve themselves,” she said.