In our inaugural project, Homes4Hope, Hope and Healing Canada and Habitat for Humanity came together for a revolutionary pilot project in Fitche, Ethiopia.
To support those families living with disabilities, who are all but forgotten in society with holistic enablement through providing a safe, clean home they can call their own and necessarily health care and rehabilitation.
Fitche, Ethiopia is approximately 120km north of the capital city, Addis Ababa and is home to approximately 50,000 people. Illness and disabilities are common place in poor regions of the village due to lack of sanitation facilities, safe housing and access to medical diagnosis or treatment. Fitche had previously not seen any humanitarian aid support.
As part of this landmark initiative, we were able to work with the Ethiopia government to secure an undeveloped plot of land to provide families living with disabilities with brand new disability accessible homes.
Four quad-plex units were built providing clean, bright and safe two room houses to each of the 40 beneficiary families. In addition, 20 kitchen and latrine facilities were built for two families each to share. Local contractors, volunteers and beneficiary families aided in the construction of all the houses. Over 1000 hours in sweat equity by various beneficiary families. As part of this program, beneficiaries completed financial literacy, home management, and micro financing classes before receiving the keys to their new home as part of their commitment and accountability as a family. This in addition, to receiving the necessary medical care and rehabilitation support to improve quality of life.
They began to move into their homes in 2015. A community made of up of families living with disabilities who were previously ostracized from their existing communities was born. A community where families understood and empathized with the struggles of their neighbour and offered support and friendship. Where children could be children and play with one another without fear of being outcasts.
With the success of this initiative, the government also lead the installation of a water line connecting the community site to the town’s main pipeline. This provides clean drinking, cooking and cleaning water for residents of the 40 homes.
In addition to the homes built for these families in Fitche, Homes4Hope in partnership with Hope and Healing and Habitat for Humanity were able to build an 8-stall communal latrine in another part of Fitche where no latrines existed. This now provides over 500 residents with a proper sanitary environment and had made a measurable impact in the reduction of infections, diseases and other related illnesses.