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.