Our 5th Housebuild

Written by Claire Schnackenberg

Suy, one of the girls on our program, works very hard to help her family while keeping up her grades at school. Her house was small, dirty and riddled with holes. Because of her commitment to her studies and because of what a kind and generous young girl she is, we awarded her with our fifth house build.Five people live in Suy’s house, including her disabled younger sister who can’t walk and had to sleep on the ground. Their house was very old and weather-beaten, which made it very difficult to keep up the hygiene lessons Suy learnt from our Education Outreach Officers.

Having a new and clean place to sleep will help Suy and her parents, looking after her disabled sister is easier and safer in her room downstairs. Suy’s parents both work as farmers but they didn’t earn enough to save for a new house. They were able to borrow some money from relatives and, along with Free To Shine’s contribution, are happy to have a new house to raise their kids.The family decided on cement posts, with wooden beams and a very nice blue and red tin roof. Suy’s family are very resourceful, cutting the palm leaves themselves and reusing some of the wooden beams from the old house. By reusing some of the material from their old house, they were able to reduce any extra waste and save a bit of extra money.

Suy’s family all pitched in money and work to help out and it was great to see the family come together to help them make a safe and clean place to live. The neighbours even pitched in, helping build the house and refusing any pay. Suy’s brother was particularly helpful during the house build, and her father put in extra work to build the walls and floors. Suy’s parents worked hard to finish the house and were able to earn enough to pay the carpenter through extra work in neighbour’s fields. The house took around two months to complete.Throughout the house build Suy kept up her studies and has only been absent one day this year. Her teachers say she is respectful and dedicated to her studies. We couldn’t be happier to help Suy continue her studies and get a better start to life in a safer environment, especially as it helps the family to take care of her younger sister.