In 2011 Matt Jolley, an award-winning builder based on the South Coast of NSW, was out for lunch with one of his clients. During the meal, Matt noticed the slogan ‘Plate for Plate’ displayed in the restaurant, and realised that some of the money he’d spent on lunch was going towards a meal for someone less fortunate than him. He felt empowered by this simple yet powerful idea, and immediately began thinking about how he could do the same as a builder.
It was there and then that House for a House was born.
Every time Matt and his team complete a house or major project in Australia, they provide funds for a home to be built in the 3rd world for families desperately in need. House for a House partners with local builders for each project they complete overseas, providing employment for local tradesmen. To date, House for House has completed projects in Tanzania, Kenya, Philippines and Liberia. By the end of 2014 the 4th project in Tanzania will have been completed in partnership with Forever Angels Baby Home.
Maggie’s father brought her to Forever Angels in March 2007 as a 2-week-old baby weighing just 1.61kg. Like so many Tanzanian women, Maggie’s mother tragically died giving birth to her. Her father was left to care his newborn baby and 6 other daughters.
Maggie grew and developed into a beautiful mischievous little girl while living at Forever Angels. All the while, her family continued to visit her every weekend and the close bond and love between them all was clearly evident. Maggie’s father began working as a gardener at the Baby Home, and this both empowered him to properly care for his daughters and gave him regularly contact with Maggie.
Now that Maggie was healthy and the family could sustain themselves financially, Maggie was able to return home 2 years to the day since arriving at the Baby Home.
In January 2015, Maggie’s father passed away, leaving his seven daughters to care for themselves. Mecky, the eldest daughter, had already started working at Forever Angels to support her siblings since her father was growing too old to work.
House for a House heard about the girls’ story and decided to build them a home of their own so they could live in a safe environment care for one another into the future
Judith came to Forever Angels in February 2014 as a 2-week-old baby girl. Sadly, her mother died in childbirth and her father ran away. Judith’s grandmother wanted to care for her, but she had 6 other young grandchildren at home and no means to provide for them, let alone the needs of a small baby.
Forever Angels cared for Judith for six months, and then in August, she returned home to her Grandmother and siblings. They all live in a very small single roomed mud brick house, which leaks during the rainy season. The house is very unstable and could easily collapse at any time.
A Forever Angels volunteer purchased a small piece of land close to the Baby Home and thanks to House for a House, Judith’s grandmother will soon live in a new home with her family. It will have two rooms and be made from brick and metal sheeting so the children are safe and dry.
Forever Angles Outreach program has also enabled her to set up a small business so she can provide for her own grandchildren now and into the future.
CHARLES AND NYRIABU
At almost 70 years of age, Charles and Nyriabu earned a living crushing rocks on construction sites, a job that paid $2 per day. To add to this daily struggle, their son abandoned his newborn twins and malnourished son, leaving the three children with their Grandparents in utter poverty.
Unable to survive in such dire circumstances, the children went to live at Forever Angels. The Baby Home offered Charles and Nyriabu a home and appropriate employment if they agreed to care for the children when they were old enough to return to their Grandparents’ care. Astonishingly, they declined the offer of a more comfortable life, as they knew their age precluded them from providing a long-term family for the children. They made the difficult decision to relinquish their Grandchildren for adoption, totally prepared to resume their daily struggle to survive.
Touched by their story of sacrifice, House for a House chose to build them a home of their own. The Grandparents are able to rent half of their new four-room house to tenants, which has created a stable income stream and means they no longer need to labour for a living under the hot African sun. This simple initiative has changed their lives.
At our 2012 fundraiser we told the story of Mathias; how Forever Angels cared for him after his mother died, then once Mathias was old enough to leave they set his father up in a business so he could provide for his son. The Baby Home bought Mathias’ father a bicycle, which he used to ride 20 km each day to the next town, purchase fruit and vegetables, then return home to sell them.
Sadly, after doing so well for five years, Mathias’s house burned down, with his father’s bicycle inside. With no way of transporting his fruit and vegetables, his business failed and the family began to starve.
Thankfully he came back to Forever Angels to ask for help and his bicycle was immediately replaced. House for a House has begun work on building a new home for Mathias and his family. Without such support, this beautiful family would have had no chance of enjoying these essential elements of life that we so quickly take for granted.
In 2012 House for a House partnered with a Wollongong tradesmen to build a series of wells in Liberia, West Africa. Access to clean drinking water is something most people in the West take for granted. Yet in so many parts of the world, children walk long distances throughout the night to fetch water and bring it back to their families.
This House for a House project included the construction of two wells in Greenville, and the restoration of a third in Pinetown. Children from these villages no longer need to jeopardise their safety in search of water, and with a proper nights sleep are able to stay awake during the day at school and get the most out of their education. The flow on effect from such a simple project as the construction of a few wells is profound, and will have a lasting impact on generations to come.