Receiving a hand up

Demelza with daughters Layla and Shakeisha in their home

It was an emotional occasion when Habitat for Humanity general manager Carina Dickson reunited with a recipient family recently, one year on from when they received the keys to their new home.

“We handed over an empty shell, and now it’s a home,” said Carina. “Habitat for Humanity believes wholeheartedly in their motto — ‘A world where everyone has a place to live’.”

Recipient, Demalza Faridmanesh, and her two daughters, Layla and Shakeisha, were approved for a house after living in a small home deemed unhealthy due to mould and dampness.

“We have experienced many changes as a family,” said Demalza. “It’s given us security and stability.

The children previously always had coughs and colds, and I was often treating them for psoriasis, but not anymore.”

“This has brought us closer together, we eat at the table together, and we feel better about ourselves.

Before I had nothing to strive for and had low self-esteem, but now we are working towards owning our own home.” 

Giving advice to other families in difficult circumstances she said, “Set goals and never give up. This is a hand up, not a handout.”

Throughout the process, Demelza and her family have been committed to working their compulsory 500 ‘sweat equity’ hours as a part of the programme, and even maintained the lawns on the section before the house arrived on-site.

The new home was built in Auckland by Onehunga High School students and moved to Dargaville in 2017 to be completed by the Dargaville High School Building Academy.  


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