Brush Abor Homes, a custom home builder in Virginia, has a program called “Buy One, Build One” (http://brusharborhomes.com/buy-one-build-one/) which builds one home in a third world country for every home they build in the U.S. Founder and CEO Jonathan Smith has a long history with Uganda, having lived there and adopting a son from Uganda. He was thrilled to be able to build houses for two families in Bulike. Each household is headed up by elderly and disabled grandparents who raised their grandchildren in small, leaking and essentially un-livable houses.
These two stories are examples of how housing can not only transform a single family, but indeed the entire community.
House # 1: Mr. Mudima (the man with the blue hat in the photos) is disabled and lived with his wife and 5 children in a small, one-roomed hut made out of mud. The photos of the old hut show that it was way too small for a family of that size.
Even worse, the roof leaked and caused the family to sleep in wet conditions which frequently made them sick. He had previously lost two of his children to the general conditions they were living in.
Mr. Mudima did not have the resources to even fix his roof. So the idea of an entirely new house never crossed his mind. When he found out that he was going to receive such a house, he was over-joyed. His family now has a 4-room house that is big enough for his family and does NOT leak.
You can see the impact of the house in two of the photos of the young child. In the photo ” 2. Family2″, you can clearly see the young child appear sick and frail. In a later photo (7. Family After New House), after the house is built, that same child looks healthier, heavier and sitting up. The transformation is truly amazing.
It’s an example of how important shelter is to human life.
House # 2: Maria is 60-something old lady barely 4 feet tall. Her children had all died and so her grandchildren were staying with her in a tiny, round hut made out of mud and a thatch roof. It is difficult to comprehend how they lived like this for all these years. Her roof was leaking just like Mr. Mudima’s roof, and the living conditions were indescribable. She now has a one-room house with concrete floor, metal roof and windows and doors that can be locked.
As Ronald points out, the impact of these two houses went far beyond these two families. Word got out into the community that for some reason these two families were to get a new house. UCSS staff and volunteers used the opportunity to minister to not only the families but the entire community around these houses. They provided food, training, and they shared the love of Jesus Christ.
It is an example of how one new house can truly transform an entire community.
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