International Program Nov. 22, 2022

Your Global Neighbour: Christian and Claudia’s story

Your support helps us not only build houses – your support also helps us build stronger lives around the world.

Imagine what it would be like to be parents of a young child with disabilities, living in a one-room house built from corn stalk, wood and dirt flooring. Christian, his wife Claudia and their four-year-old son Zedd are a strong and resilient family. They have worked hard to provide love, stability and a safe place to build a future for Zedd in Guatamela. Christian works as a mason, while Claudia not only cares for Zedd but also weaves traditional clothing.

In spite of their best efforts, their old house was cold, and water leaked in when it rained. But their new Habitat home is warm and dry. They no longer have to boil water to drink. When asked how they felt about their new house, they responded that the house is a blessing for them. “We want to give thanks to everyone involved. We are no longer feel cold in our house, the water no longer comes in.” Claudia adds, “The house is so pretty and clean. Everything is perfect.”

This home and many others have been built alongside this community with a goal of being safe and accessible for families that have persons living with disabilities.

We focus on working with families with disabilities because while we believe a safe place to call home is foundational for a better life, to truly thrive we need to ensure new Habitat homeowners have the tools they need to build healthier, more financially stable lives.

That’s why Habitat Canada partners with Habitat Guatemala, Hope and Healing and the Association of Parents and Friends of People with Disabilities (ADISA). ADISA (Association of Parents and Friends of People with Disabilities) is a local non-profit that provides programs in healthcare, education, employment and social empowerment. Zedd attends ADISA’s Special Education School at Cerro de Oro. “At school, they teach Zedd how to draw, write and play so that he can develop his abilities and to learn to talk,” says Claudia. As young parents, Christian and Claudia are fighting to provide Zedd, and other children with disabilities, with a better future.

What the family enjoys most about their new home is that Claudia can now enjoy cooking and the family can spend time together where they can play with Zedd in a safe environment. “I can now come back from work, directly to a comfortable space to play with my son,” says Christian.

As part of an international organization that works in almost 70 countries, we’re thankful that we can rely on generous donors like you to make a difference in people’s lives in Canada and around the world. Through our Global Neighbours initiative, we partner with local Habitats and other community partners around the world to build and repair homes, provide safe water and sanitation solutions as well as offer skills training and financial education.

Learn more about how we’re making a difference around the world: