Adequate housing with space for all the family, separate cooking and washing facilities and sanitation facilities can make a huge difference to a family’s health.
Joshua lived in this bure in his village in Fiji with his wife and two teenage children. He has disabilities caused by leprosy and isn’t strong enough to build himself a better house, and because he can’t work, he couldn’t afford the materials for the house, or to pay someone to build it for him. Living here wasn’t doing his health any good, nor was it good for his family. In addition, his poor housing set him apart from other people in the village leading to stigma and discrimination in his community.
Joshua contacted Luisa, who works for the Foundation in Fiji and asked if we could help to build him a better home.
Luisa confirmed that the Foundation was happy to help. Together they planned the house – the size and number of rooms and the position in the village. Under the Fijian system, Joshua has a right to build a house in his village – he doesn’t have to buy the land to build it on.
After comparing two or three quotations for the materials and labour to build the house, Luisa gave the go-ahead and work began. Within a very short time the house was complete. It has a living area, two bedrooms, a kitchen, shower room and toilet. Electricity runs to two small lamps inside the house – they don’t use much power, but the light means that the children can see to do their homework in the evenings. Joshua can pay for the electricity out of his welfare payment of around $75 per month.
Joshua’s family are much happier and healthier now and the children will soon successfully complete their schooling.