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Hurray – 500,000 houses at last!

Four years ago the land at Maai Mahiu lay bare with rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated tress. There was very little if any activity taking place in the area. Today the same bare piece of land is home to 335 families, who have found peace, transformation and new homes. A complete new beginning. It was on this once bare land that the 500,000th house was built by the Paterson team in September and on the same piece of land Habitat for Humanity Kenya celebrated the construction of 500,000th houses built by Habitat for Humanity worldwide and marked the world Habitat day.

The 3rd of October 2011 was indeed a significant day for HFH Kenya. It was a day to celebrate, to officially dedicate the 500,000th house. It was also a day to look back and be thankful for the support, achievements and impact we have made in the lives of the internally displaced families at Maai Mahiu. Most important of all, it was a day to share and enjoy with families that were once in distress    and to give hope to those still living in tents.

The Director of Resettlement in Kenya Mr Michael Mwangi graced the occasion that was attended by HFH Kenya partners, the board members, friends and well-wishers. Among the corporates represented at the occasion were Uniliver, Hope Fm, Housing finance, Mission tours, and Milward Brown Ltd. When addressing the gathering, the Director of resettlement thanked HFH Kenya for the good work of resettling the internally displaced families into decent permanent houses. He said that the Government is working towards providing the internally displaced families with funds to purchase land in the area where they will practice agriculture and earn a living.

Leah Wairimu and her two grandchildren now live in the house that was officially opened and dedicated as the 500,000th house build by Habitat for Humanity. The house was constructed in September by a team of nine volunteers from Habitat for Humanity Paterson who visited Kenya on a build trip. The Paterson’s are major partners of Habitat for Humanity Kenya, and their trip to the country was significant for both the staff and beneficiaries.

It was great taking time off to celebrate and reflect on our achievements, we are now motivated to work even harder. After the music, the drums and the dance, it is now time to focus on moving the remaining families out of tents to houses. We are optimist that soon every displaced family will sleep in a warm cosy bed. Then the celebrations will begin again.