Mama Helena was introduced to C-re-aid by a partner organisation called Minjeni. The director of Minjeni referred to this case as “exactly what you are looking for” when we say “limited by infrastructure.” The partner organisation had categorized this family being “poor” by its shelter. When the husband of mama Helena died, her granddaughter Lightness (8) came to live with her. Eight months prior to our visit, the house that they lived in had become uninhabitable. Due to termites and mudslides, the house became crooked and it was too dangerous to live there. Mama Helena did not have the physical strength to repair the house and did not receive any support from neighbors.
New start, new chances
Shelter - Creative with local materials - Education
July - August 2013
Minjeni Woman's Group
Simon Kaisin & Christophe De Ridder
The students proposed to use a light wooden structure, reinforced by layers of natural bricks as facade. The upper part of the facade would be filled in with low cost, light material. In the future, she would be able to easily replace those sections. Two weeks after finishing the construction, the students went back to Shimbwe. The neighbors had all contributed to buying some bags of cement to reinforce the toilet and close the sanitary well.
More than one year after the completion of the project, mama Helena has managed to built a goat barn, a chicken coop and small infrastructures around her house to help her with daily tasks. She is working on her land and gets a small income with the animals.