New home in Madagascar helps children see “everything is possible in life”

New home in Madagascar helps children see “everything is possible in life”

Jean Luc Mananjara and wife Olive have been raising their three children — now ages 16, 13 and 11 — and a 14-year-old niece in rental units in the Madagascar village of Antsirabe. It is an area of great housing need but also a unique opportunity for The Fuller Center for Housing because a little bit of generosity can go a long way in the area.

Jean Luc and Olive are living proof of that as they recently moved into a brand new Fuller Center home built for just under $2,800. It is a far better situation than renting a cramped space in a home shared with another family — a place where their rent increased anytime they made necessary repairs and improvements to the building. They also have clean water and sanitation through The Fuller Center’s local team in Madagascar.

“I feel like I’ve been living a dream since the construction started,” Jean Luc said through an interpreter. “Today, I am overjoyed. The worries of homelessness are forgotten, and my family has what it needs to improve our lives. I am grateful to The Fuller Center for Housing for changing our lives.”

Like other Fuller Center homeowners around the world, the couple will make zero-percent-interest mortgage payments to repay the building costs. Those payments will go into a fund to help others in their community get the very same hand-up. Olive said she is thrilled to able to pay if forward rather than being a charity case.

“To get a house of our own has always been my dream, but we didn’t have the means to achieve it until The Fuller Center came along,” she said. “I praise God for it, and I thank The Fuller Center for transforming our lives. We are happy that we can repay the costs of materials and labor and pray for the other families to soon have their own homes.”

Olive was not the only happy family member at the recent home dedication. The three children each said that the new home will give them space to study and will be closer to their school.

“I’m happy, happy, happy,” said 16-year-old Nirina. “I’m inspired to work like never before. Getting this house, I now see that everything is possible in life. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to build a house like this someday.”

“I love that we children have our own room,” said 13-year-od Flavien. “It makes me want to work harder at my studies. Before, it wasn’t quiet and I wasn’t motivated. And our parents shared the same room. Now, it’s a better situation, and I’m thankful to everyone who worked so that we could have a peaceful life.”

Their brother Sunley, 11, is particularly grateful for the access to clean water.

“We have drinking water and don’t have to wake up early to draw water from the well,” he said, referring to his family’s time in nearby Mahafaly. “When we had been in Mahafaly, we stood in line every morning to get water for cooking and taking a bath. It was tiresome!”

Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola visited the island in 2017 shortly after the local partner joined The Fuller Center and said it was some of the worst living conditions he has witnessed in his travels around the world — especially the lack of access to clean water.

“Fuller Center Madagascar is just amazing,” he said today. “They’re dramatically changing families’ lives by building decent and attractive homes. They also help families have access to clean water and sanitation — and they don’t even spend much to do it.”

 

Related story: First new Fuller Center homes in Madagascar

Photo (below): The family and others pose in front of the new home on dedication day:

First new Fuller Center homes in Madagascar lift families out of poverty housing

First new Fuller Center homes in Madagascar lift families out of poverty housing

(Photo: Armand and Georgette have moved out of a slum and now live in this new Fuller Center house with their two children in Ambohimanambola, Madagascar.)

Thanks to a popular DreamWorks animated movie series, most people think of talking hippos, smart-aleck penguins and dancing lions when they think of “Madagascar.” It is indeed a wild treasure with 90 percent of its wildlife species found nowhere else on the planet.

But there is another significant percentage that is more troubling for Madagascar — 70 percent living below the poverty rate. More than seven in 10 people on the island live on less than one dollar a day. This explains the prevalence of shacks and slums across the African nation.

The Fuller Center for Housing’s new covenant partner on the ground there is working to change that, one house at a time. They began by making badly needed repairs to deteriorating homes and have now dedicated their first two new homes.

ARMAND & GEORGETTE

Armand, 57, and his wife Georgette, 51, have raised their children in slum conditions (pictured) despite having steady jobs — Armand being a security guard and Georgette an elementary school teacher. With their combined $100 a month in salaries, they could not afford to escape the slum until The Fuller Center came along.

“With our low monthly income, the bank wouldn’t accept our  request for financing to build our house,” Armand said. “For this reason, we should have lived many years in the slum.”

Then he attended a local meeting as The Fuller Center for Housing of Madagascar was getting started.

“After that meeting, hope to see my house build grew stronger within me,” he said. “The kindness that The Fuller Center team showed to us changed our disappointment to confidence. Now, my house is in a nice place, and my family is leaving the unsafe and unhealthy quarters.”

“I always dreamed of getting a house, but we had no means to achieve it until we met The Fuller Center of Madagascar,” Georgette added. “Now, I am very happy and want to say thank you to everyone.”

Their son Arnaud, 19, is glad that he will be able to finish his studies in a simple, decent home and that his parents will have a healthier life.

“There was no space at our wooden house,” he said. “The dirty water from the toilets of surrounding houses and garbage from the nearby channel came into our home when it rained. But no more, thanks to the donors who helped us build our home.”

EMILIENNE

Emilienne, 64, is an elementary school teacher who was unable to bear children, so she adopted two sons — Eddy, now 20, and Jessy, 12. Even after working hard for 30 years as a teacher, Emilienne was unable to purchase a decent home for her boys, so she rented a one-room, 172-square-foot apartment for the three of them.

“Now, my long-time dream to have a new house has become a reality,” said Emilienne (pictured with Jessy and two visiting nieces on the day she moved into her home in Ankadilalampotsy-Ankaraobato). “My children and me, we are happy and give thanks to The Fuller Center for Housing and its team. We are satisfied with the partnership and pray that the project will continue in our country. I see this as a great hope for the generation.”

Fuller Center Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola has been impressed with how swiftly and independently the local group in Madagascar has begun its work, giving him great optimism for the future of The Fuller Center’s work in the country.

“We’re so excited to be working with such a fine group of people in Madagascar,” Iafigliola said. “They may be a small Fuller Center now, but their dedication and abilities make them one to watch. I can’t wait to see what God does with and through us in Madagascar.”

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VIDEO: January 2017 monthly update from Fuller Center for Housing headquarters

VIDEO: January 2017 monthly update from Fuller Center for Housing headquarters

For years, representatives from Fuller Center for Housing covenant partners from across the nation would unite on a monthly conference call to share success stories and learn about new opportunities and other programs directed from The Fuller Center’s headquarters in Americus, Georgia.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t invite the general public to join us on the call, but there was too much good information being shared to keep it to ourselves. So, in an effort to share these stories and further enhance the transparency of our nonprofit housing ministry (GuideStar Platinum rating for transparency), we have taken these monthly updates public thanks to Facebook Live. After each Live session, you’ll also be able to view them here at FullerCenter.org.

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