Brick by Brick – Building A Home To Heal A Remarkable Grandma

A Remarkable Grandma

When her son tragically passed away, Magdalene stepped in and dedicated herself to taking care of his children, but as a widow with health problems and grandchildren to look after, she found it very difficult to make ends meet.

Greeting me with an infectious smile, she led me on a tour of her old home. It was dark and dusty, with no proper flooring. The one window in the property had no glass to let light in. Instead, just a poorly fitted wooden shutter between Magdalene and the elements.

The house was falling apart...

Glancing up, glimpses of the sky filtered in through the gaps in the old roof panels. Nearby a corrugated iron structure that was falling apart. Magdalene explained that this fragile structure was her bathroom.

Although I knew of her story beforehand, seeing her old house in real-life, with its dilapidated, crumbling walls immediately brought home to me just how crucial your support is.

The urgency of situations like Magdalene’s is mirrored across the world. 70% of residents in rural Kenya don’t have access to basic sanitation, putting them at serious risk of diseases such as typhoid fever.

Raising Her Grandchildren

As we walked on, Magdalene explained more to me about how her old house was not a place of safety for her or her grandchildren. It was a
place where rainwater seeped in, damp and dust worsened her health,
and the absence of proper toilet facilities only added to her worries.

“I used to prepare mud with my hands to seal cracks in the walls of my old house. Snakes would sneak in through the holes. The cracks were so bad that when I lay in my bed at night, I could see cars passing by on the road outside,” explains Magdalene.

Shockingly, in children under the age of 5 in Kenya, deaths from diarrhea surpass the number of deaths from HIV and Malaria combined.
The cycle of poverty, disease, and inadequate housing seems insurmountable. Yet, Magdalene’s story proves that change is possible.

The Turning Point

As Magdalene had stepped in for her grandchildren, your support
enabled us to step in for her.

“I had a long conversation with them (Habitat for Humanity) so that they could understand the problems I was facing. After that, they helped me with the paperwork and documentation I would need, and then from there, things moved forwards quickly,” she explained.

After discussing Magdalene’s needs, our team got to work, building her
a new home and a proper sanitation block.

“The first day I got my new home,” she says, “I knelt down on the step outside, and I thanked your donors – may they all be blessed!”

Magdalene's New Home

Beyond her own needs, Magdalene sees her new home as something
greater. It’s somewhere where she can provide a promising and stable
future for her grandchildren, as every loving grandparent wants.

Her new home has a proper, secure, lockable door to keep her and her
grandchildren safe. There are windows for fresh air and a sturdy roof that stands strong against the elements. There’s also a decent toilet block, so the family has access to proper sanitation, protecting them from disease.

A New Found Hope

Standing on the small patio outside her new home, Magdelene enjoys watching her grandchildren play. “They are all in school,” she tells me proudly. “Now that I have this home, I don’t have to worry about health as much, and I hope I will live longer and see my grandchildren grow”.

As we say our goodbyes and I make my way along the row of simple but beautiful new homes being built for other residents like Magdalene in Machakos, I’m struck by the transformative power our community of supporters just like you is having in towns and villages like these all across the world.

Donate Below To Support Vulnerable Families Today

Grace’s Story

Another incredible person I would like you to meet is Grace. She also welcomed me into her home in Machakos, Kenya, and is an example of how making a transformative gift to Habitat for Humanity Great Britain can help change lives.

Please consider a donation today, and together, brick by brick, we’ll transform lives. Thank you.

Click to read Grace’s story