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Let’s dig deeper into the main impact of poverty on health, children, education as well as communities – and how safe, decent homes can become the essential foundation for people to build happy, prosperous lives.

1. Effects of poverty on health

Over 10,000 children die every day because they live in poor housing.

Without effective sanitation in their home, children are especially vulnerable to life-threatening diarrhoea and intestinal infections. And in houses where there’s insufficient ventilation, people are especially vulnerable to respiratory diseases.

Clean, warm homes provide protection from the elements and help improve a family’s health by preventing illness and diseases such as tuberculosis, diarrhoea, and malaria.

Families who live in a properly constructed home are less likely to fall prey to such diseases and are better equipped to recover from any illnesses they may contract. It goes without saying that the mental health of individuals and families is greatly improved when physical health concerns are taken away.

Seventy-year-old Girma Mihiretu and his wife Yeshi Ali, can testify to this. The couple live with their three-year-old grandson, Zehirun Asefa, in Dessie, Ethiopia, but for a long time they and their six children had just a single plastic sheet to call home.

With no sanitation or proper protection from the weather, the family were at the mercy of the elements.

As Mihiretu recalls,

“I lived in a small and dirty house. We didn’t have a toilet. We couldn’t help our children with money. Our children’s health suffered every day.”

To make matters even worse the couple used to suffer with leprosy, and even today bear the scars of this debilitating disease. Life was desperate, until just two years ago when the couple became our homepartners and began to hope for a healthier future.

The couple’s only money used to come from begging, but now they have a garden to cultivate crops that they sell to supplement their income.



“Today, we see our new house and know it’s good for our children. It has a toilet and a garden. I feel blessed.”(Mihiretu)

2. Effects of poverty on education and schooling
Home gives children opportunity for the future by providing a stable foundation where they can study and do as well as they can at school.

Children are also able to develop into responsible adults as they experience security and see their own parents taking care of the home. For adults, home is key to maintaining employment and provides opportunities for income generation by the creation of home-based small businesses.

Yonah Njobvu and his wife Loina have experienced first hand how a good home can help a small business burst into life. The couple live in Lusaka, Zambia with their seven children. They were staying in a neighbour’s hut after flooding destroyed their own home and the cramped conditions were far from adequate.

Since moving in February 2008 to a Habitat home, every aspect of the family’s life has gone from strength to strength. The additional space has allowed Yonah to start his own business making waterproof underpants for children.

Through this business Yonah can now support his family much better. In his previous home, there simply wasn’t the space or security to start a business. Now business is thriving, life is good and the family can get a good night’s sleep.

3. Effects of poverty on children and families


Home is indeed where the heart is and a stable, well constructed home is at the centre of family life.

When families have a home where they feel safe and secure they will draw together as a family unit to love and support one another. There is also an added sense of pride and dignity that comes with a decent home which translates to a hopefulness for the future well being and success of the family.

There is plenty enough research showing that growing up in an unsafe environment not only affects children’s health seriously but also as a result of this their attendance at school (and ability to get a degree or diploma).

Reducing child mortality, improving school attendance
Ana Maria and Rodrel live with their three small children, Shanely, Marlon and Alan in a neighbourhood nestled in the centre of Chichicastenango, Guatemala. The couple were married seven years ago and have moved home almost every year since. As a nursery nurse and a truck driver, their income doesn’t stretch very far.

For the past year their rented house was so cold and damp that their youngest son, just nine months old, suffered with bronchitis. The family also had to share a bathroom and outdoor kitchen leading to restricted use of the facilities and conflict with other families.

Some years ago the couple had purchased a small piece of land but never dreamt they would be able to secure a loan to build a house on it.

When Rodrel’s brother introduced them to Habitat for Humanity for the first time the family began to hope that they would have a pl


Original text

Let’s dig deeper into the main impact of poverty on health, children, education as well as communities – and how safe, decent homes can become the essential foundation for people to build happy, prosperous lives.

1. Effects of poverty on health

Over 10,000 children die every day because they live in poor housing.

Without effective sanitation in their home, children are especially vulnerable to life-threatening diarrhoea and intestinal infections. And in houses where there’s insufficient ventilation, people are especially vulnerable to respiratory diseases.

Clean, warm homes provide protection from the elements and help improve a family’s health by preventing illness and diseases such as tuberculosis, diarrhoea, and malaria.

Families who live in a properly constructed home are less likely to fall prey to such diseases and are better equipped to recover from any illnesses they may contract. It goes without saying that the mental health of individuals and families is greatly improved when physical health concerns are taken away.

Seventy-year-old Girma Mihiretu and his wife Yeshi Ali, can testify to this. The couple live with their three-year-old grandson, Zehirun Asefa, in Dessie, Ethiopia, but for a long time they and their six children had just a single plastic sheet to call home.

With no sanitation or proper protection from the weather, the family were at the mercy of the elements.

As Mihiretu recalls,

“I lived in a small and dirty house. We didn’t have a toilet. We couldn’t help our children with money. Our children’s health suffered every day.”

To make matters even worse the couple used to suffer with leprosy, and even today bear the scars of this debilitating disease. Life was desperate, until just two years ago when the couple became our homepartners and began to hope for a healthier future.

The couple’s only money used to come from begging, but now they have a garden to cultivate crops that they sell to supplement their income.



“Today, we see our new house and know it’s good for our children. It has a toilet and a garden. I feel blessed.”(Mihiretu)

2. Effects of poverty on education and schooling
Home gives children opportunity for the future by providing a stable foundation where they can study and do as well as they can at school.

Children are also able to develop into responsible adults as they experience security and see their own parents taking care of the home. For adults, home is key to maintaining employment and provides opportunities for income generation by the creation of home-based small businesses.

Yonah Njobvu and his wife Loina have experienced first hand how a good home can help a small business burst into life. The couple live in Lusaka, Zambia with their seven children. They were staying in a neighbour’s hut after flooding destroyed their own home and the cramped conditions were far from adequate.

Since moving in February 2008 to a Habitat home, every aspect of the family’s life has gone from strength to strength. The additional space has allowed Yonah to start his own business making waterproof underpants for children.

Through this business Yonah can now support his family much better. In his previous home, there simply wasn’t the space or security to start a business. Now business is thriving, life is good and the family can get a good night’s sleep.

3. Effects of poverty on children and families


Home is indeed where the heart is and a stable, well constructed home is at the centre of family life.

When families have a home where they feel safe and secure they will draw together as a family unit to love and support one another. There is also an added sense of pride and dignity that comes with a decent home which translates to a hopefulness for the future well being and success of the family.

There is plenty enough research showing that growing up in an unsafe environment not only affects children’s health seriously but also as a result of this their attendance at school (and ability to get a degree or diploma).

Reducing child mortality, improving school attendance
Ana Maria and Rodrel live with their three small children, Shanely, Marlon and Alan in a neighbourhood nestled in the centre of Chichicastenango, Guatemala. The couple were married seven years ago and have moved home almost every year since. As a nursery nurse and a truck driver, their income doesn’t stretch very far.

For the past year their rented house was so cold and damp that their youngest son, just nine months old, suffered with bronchitis. The family also had to share a bathroom and outdoor kitchen leading to restricted use of the facilities and conflict with other families.

Some years ago the couple had purchased a small piece of land but never dreamt they would be able to secure a loan to build a house on it.

When Rodrel’s brother introduced them to Habitat for Humanity for the first time the family began to hope that they would have a pl

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