Meet Elizabeth Zimba. Elizabeth has lived in Twapia, Zambia – her hometown – for the last 30 years. She has recently moved into a newly built Habitat home. Here is her inspiring story.
Shortly after moving to Twapia in the late eighties, Elizabeth’s husband passed away. This tremendous loss meant that Elizabeth had to provide for her six children through various part-time jobs. The entire family lived in a two-room hut, which had a dirt floor, cracked walls, and a roof that leaked heavily during the rainy season.
Elizabeth is older now, and cannot work. Her children live in their own homes, and she now looks after her two grandchildren, Joselyn (13) and Mary (18), and a great grandchild, Mary’s son Jonas.
“My children support me from time to time and this has helped lessen the burden on me, as I cannot manage to fend for these grandchildren singlehandedly,” said Elizabeth. Joselyn and Mary also provide a lot of support around the house.
Still living in the same home, the family lived in constant fear that the winds and rains would blow the roof off. Elizabeth needed a safe and healthy home to protect her family, who were prone to malaria, coughs, and colds.
In 2016, thanks to funding from Irish Aid and the Irish public, Elizabeth was empowered to change her story. She was given the opportunity to own a safe and decent home. According to Mary, what she loves the most is that she now has a room of her own with her sister and child. Since moving into their new home, no one has suffered from any illnesses. According to Joselyn, her school grades have improved as she now is able to read and write in a safer and secure environment. “I have a room to study and do my homework now,” says Joselyn.
Elizabeth and her family entered 2017 with a sense of security and new beginnings.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project.