Troy Winston Troy Wilson’s Story (not his real name)
“I am overwhelmed with the opportunity they have given me to have my own home … I can now view a better lifestyle for my family.” – Home recipient, Troy Wilson
Prior to receiving the assistance of HFH, Tory, his wife and their four children lived in what can be aptly described as a hovel; with dampened spirits, little optimism and cloudy foretells.
“We had been moving from rented house to rented house and all we could have seen or felt was that we were going down more into poverty. I had always longed to have my own home. I tried, but everything seemed to have come to a full-stop. I was getting older and achieving nothing . . . I was embarrassed at my efforts.”
When this family approached Habitat for Humanity they were being asked by their non-resident landlady to vacate the premises they were occupying at the time – a dilapidated structure with holes in its roof, and which flooded almost every time it rained – with just a two-week prior notice.
“We feared being thrown out at any time and I was always worried about the safety of my family when I was away.”
Today this is the least of their concern. The family now occupies a comfortable Habitat house and is still very grateful to the organisation and its donor community. Tory noted that his family is now very hopeful about the future.
Troy Winston, Dentist
He was described as, from “always willing to lend a helping hand,” to “good and honest.” While he was described in all these glowing terms, the conditions under which he and his family existed were far cry from what any human being would dream of. Yet he had a dream of owning his own home.
Eric Sampson worked as a care-taker of wild animals as well as a security guard to provide for his family. He, his wife and their six children - ranging from 2 years to 17 years-old - occupied a one-room dwelling, in which they both cooked and lived. The house they lived in was located just north of a cane-field, separated from the field by a 10-foot wide earth Dam and a 15-foot wide canal.
The house flooded every time it rained: part of the roof was missing. During such rainy seasons, the road was virtually impassable. Their living condition could have been aptly described as not fit for human habitat. The Minister who recommended Eric wrote, “[Their] present housing facilities leave much to be desired.” Another referee wrote, “His living condition is unfit and he needs to be better off in life.”
Eric heard about Habitat for Humanity from a Volunteer with Habitat. He was encouraged to apply and he did. Having fulfilled the requirements, Habitat for Humanity Guyana soon commenced construction of his home. In July of 2004 he and his family moved into their new Habitat home located in a clean environment, free of snakes. In an interview he said, “I all-time dreamed [always dreamt] of having a home, but couldn’t make it possible.” He said that he went to other housing organizations which referred him to the commercial Banks, where he was told that his income was too small. He bought some “blocks and beams” in an attempt to help himself, but still found it impossible, for lack of funds. He was thankful that Habitat for Humanity made it possible for him and his family to have a new life.
Of his new home he said, “I am happy. I can sit down and roll all over. I feel so light; light; light.” He said he could never have believed that he could have gotten a house at “my age.” He said his one hope: one wish and that is for, “Habitat for Humanity to help the poor people like myself, for many of them are looking for a house.”
Eric Sampson, Manager
Sharon (not her real name) and her three children age, 17; 11 and 3, are four of thirteen persons (8 adults and 5 children) who share a common living space in a range house in the Ruimveldt area, where she paid $4,000 per month for her portion of the space. This industrious single mother currently works as a household helper at two locations and supplements her income by marketing Avon products.
Sharon (not her real name) always wanted to have her own home, and went about seeking opportunities to acquire one. In 1992 she attempted, unsuccessfully, to obtain a plot of land; undaunted by this, she tried again in 1994 and 2000 before finally succeeding in 2002. Her woes continued when she was told by one lending institution that she couldn’t qualify for a mortgage because of “insufficient income.”
Two friends told her about Habitat for Humanity and admonished her to apply. This she did in 2005; less than one year later she receive the keys to her own decent house.
Giving valuable assistance to the construction process was the Erin MacLeod-led Global Village team, comprised of friends of Habitat from Canada and the USA. The 12-member group spent six days lending a hand with the early stages of the construction work. One member of that team is of Guyanese parentage. Also participating in the build were 6 International Relations students from the University of Guyana and 36 youths from the Religious Youth Service.
Sharon Headley, staff volunteer
Herman and Pamela With two boys living at Mom & Dad, and nine sisters and brothers in a three bedroom upper flat, Miss. Peters then Johnson worked hard at obtaining full long-term ownership of a plot of land at Central Amelia’s Ward.
With the third boy on the way herself and two boys moved to live with the father of the expecting child. The child was born sometime before his father passed away, leaving Pamela with just her three sons and a reputed mother-in-law and an elderly relative in their Wismar Hill Housing Scheme home .
Not too long after Pamela came to realise that she was no longer considered family because here reputed husband was deceased. Her mother-in law asked that she find a place of her own which was no easy task as a single parent mother.
During this time the house was deteriorating from doors to windows, and other areas that made it unfit for dwelling.
Never the less she managed to carry out minor repairs, trying to make herself and boys feel secure, while on the other hand saving bits and pieces to make a start on her dream home, the home they can call their own, a safe haven for herself and boys.
This too was very difficult and frustrating. So she ventured to other sources of help for the construction of their home. She was frustrated by high interest rates and heavy requirements of the regular financial institutions. Then she was told of Habitat for Humanity by a friend who even accompanied her to the meeting where she taught to herself this is it.
Pamela Johnson now becoming Peters had a plus to her family income with Herman Peters as spouse. They applied to Habitat, attended education session and went through the necessary procedures and waited by faith wishing that they would achieve their home before the year 2010.
Then it all happened they were called for acceptance, immediately after followed the purchasing and before you know it there is was! The dream she was dreaming since December 2001 when she first moved from the shades of Mom and Dad venturing out on her own.
With the help of Habitat for Humanity Pamela Johnson Peters and family now own their home, which was completed in December 2009.
Herman and Pamela, project founder
Edward B. Beharry - Build a Home
Through Partnership, Edward B. Beharry and Company Ltd. & Habitat for Humanity Guyana Inc. are working together to build homes for those who can't afford to do so. With every purchase of a Beharry product such as Champion Indi or Chico helps us keep a family together.