Saranapala, has been visually impaired since birth; however this has never stopped him from striving to build a better life for himself and his family. Saranapala and his wife Indrani live in Nayanalokagama, Sri Lanka with their son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren aged 14, 12, and 6.
“I was depressed for many years, that there was just no way for me to provide my family a safe home,” says Saranapala.
The home that Saranapala and his family were living in was overcrowded as there were not enough rooms for privacy. The number of people living in such a small house also presented sanitary and hygiene issues. Their bathing area was located outside of the house and shared with others in the community. Having a toilet and wash station outside the home was extremely challenging for Saranapala. His visual impairment meant that navigating to it was very difficult for him.
To make matters worse for the family, their toilet was a fragile temporary structure which was made from tarpaulin covers. This meant that the toilet had no lockable door and that there was minimal privacy.
When thinking about his old house, Saranapala remembers how the roof was constantly leaking whenever it rained. And because they did not have adequate space to move around, it meant that they could not relocate their belongings to dry areas of the house to protect them.
A New Healthy Home
Saranapala feels that being selected to receive a home through Habitat’s Homes for Hope Project, has been the turning point in his life.
“Now living in this new home I have become much more positive in my outlook on life. I am much happier than before,” he tells us.
Moving into their new Habitat home has been an amazing experience for Saranapala and Indrani. His wife Indrani, was especially moved by the generous support of the volunteers who supported Habitat Sri Lanka. She expressed that she wanted to work alongside them to show them how much she appreciated their kindness, and so she did.
Indrani and Saranapala’s children contributed to the new home by providing the family with brand new furniture. They told us that they did this as a sign of sharing the joy of this new chapter in life. The new home is spacious enough for everyone to have much needed privacy. The windows and doors are lockable to keep the family safe, and the washing facilities are inside and accessible to the whole family. Saranapala is very happy to live in a home where the roof no longer leaks and where he does not have to worry about the impact of his home on his grandchildren’s health.
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