Local leaders identified 4 desperate families (average 8 people) who have been living under collapsing walls and ceiling. An Oak Bay Rotary grant funded new five-room houses that our team built with 4000 adobe bricks, stuccoed inside and out, painted and filled with the necessary tables, chairs and beds. When Bernadette, mother of 5 and a genocide survivor, was led into the finished house, she collapsed to her knees in sobs. Relief overwhelmed her: she and children would never again sleep on a grass mat under a dripping roof. When she stood up she was a different woman.
We also addressed all family health problems, the uniforms and shoes required for school and vocational training for the older kids who, having left school early, have skills for nothing but field work.
When District leaders were invited to the ceremony presenting the houses, they were awed by the quality and completeness of the house with decent latrine, separate kitchen and basic furniture. No other NGO includes so much when they build a house. “How much, however, did all this cost”? they asked. $2,000 USD per house was our answer. They were incredulous! Surely, we were joking. Over the years other NGO’s have claimed $3,500 to $5,000 for much less quality and officials had no way of knowing if such were reasonable or inflated. As they stood back and evaluated the house, they exclaimed they now had a true standard of quality and cost against which they can measure any construction in the future. They were most happy to finally have one.