Maria Auxiliadora by Drew Estate Charities
Maria Auxiliadora is been living in Oscar Gámez for 45 years now, she came to the neighborhood when she was sixteen years old. Today, she lives with her daughter Carolina and three grandchildren: Cinthya, Jenis, and Jader.
Doña Dora, as everyone calls her, says she loves her neighborhood, she knows the people and says that all her close neighbors are very easygoing and quiet; which is what she mostly appreciates. Her day is filled with caring for her grandchildren and the house. With Cinthya, the older one (seventeen years old), is the one who help her most with the little ones. After five pm, they wait for her Carolina to return home from the tobacco factory.
“Carolina works really hard to support the family, we don’t have anyone else, but God has been good to us, and with the money she makes at the factory, we can eat”, says Dora.
Dora’s House was built on March 27, 2013. The house presented water leaks everywhere and was made of rotten wood and plastic, they had enough land but didn’t have the economic resources to construct a house or at least repair the one they had.
One day, TECHO visited Dora and their lives changed ever since; Carolina and Dora participated in the workshop TECHO gives to provide financial tips, and Carolina was able to have the money for the house in 4 weeks (Families pay 7% of the total cost of the house. Cost per house = US 1,600).
The day finally came and both women assisted on preparing lunch for the volunteers, the construction went well; they just had to choose another position for the house due to the type of land.
On the inauguration day everyone was excited, Dora shared: “My friends also came and were very happy for us, I thank God first and all the kids from TECHO, now my grandchildren sleep in a dry and warm place when raining season is”; She explained how great she felt that day: “this blessings are from God because we didn’t have no one to help us here, to build a house is very expensive for us and the only thing we could do was fixing the leaks in the roof one day, and the next day they appeared again in another place, it was exhausting”.
“The volunteers told me this was a new beginning and they were right, our lives changed tremendously. Now, Cinthya – the older, goes to school every day in the morning, before she was missing school a lot, she was always feeling tired and I think it was because when it was raining, we needed to wake up a few times at night to move the beds to different places, so I think this house was a great blessing for everyone”.
“A lot of neighbors have been able to receive a decent and secure house, like mine; thanks to the good people who donate and the organizations like TECHO, is good to know there are people who care about us and doesn’t forget us; even after they built the house, some volunteers had come to visit us and ask how are we doing, I always meet new ones, too. All the volunteers will always be in my heart, I remember Michelle, Sandy and the tall guy with curly hair”, says Dora.
Dora and her daughter are one of the many families who had been benefited in a great way, by the join work Drew Estate Charities does with TECHO. We truly believe overcoming poverty in the community of Oscar Gámez is possible; and those examples: the transition they experiment from hopelessness to a perspective of opportunities, is the key that give us determination to work together to change their reality.
Through the process of family participation into first: working together to recognize financial issues and guiding them into generating solutions, in order to save the money for the house; and second, involvement on the construction of the house. All this gives them a sense of teamwork within the family, so they can realize they can overcome difficult situations, providing them motivation for future adversities.
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