“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar. O Lord Almighty, my King and my God, blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.”
Psalms 84: 3-4
When first arriving in Garde Saline, the majority of homes were made of mud, sticks, and pieces of tin. Our goal, once increasing the economic base of the village, has been to raise funds to build solid homes. Given our core values that each resident must contribute to every project, our plan has been for every family to contribute either funds, goods, or sweat equity in building their homes and/or establish a low-interest home loan program.
Since beginning our work in Garde Saline, several other nonprofit organizations have funded the construction of 100 cement homes and given them to villagers. While their plans are different than we had imagined, and families are not required to contribute to the construction costs, there is no doubt the homes have significantly changed the quality of life for families in the village.
FIVE-YEAR IMPACT DATA
Sustainability Plan Program Area 2012 2017
Families Renting Homes 27% 17%
Families Owning Homes 37% 83%
Houses ranked in “good” condition 26% 56%
Houses ranked in “fair” condition 5% 15%
Houses ranked in “poor” condition 69% 23%
(Good-cement floor/tin roof; Fair – dirt floor, solid dirt/stick walls or cement walls, with few holes in roof; Poor – direct floor, mud and stick walls with many holes/leaky roof)