On the last week of October, 60 young volunteer students from the YK Pao School helped low-income families living in mud-brick houses to improve or rebuild safe homes in Guangdong, Guangxi and Sichuan.
In the Guangdong, Guangxi and Sichuan provinces, many low-income families are living in typical old mud-brick homes. These houses are often easily damaged by rain and wind, and their walls and roof tiles have cracks and holes. As a result, they are dark and humid inside, and a very poor protection against bad weather. As a family with elderly parents and infants, living in such an unhealthy environment is dangerous for the safety and stability of the inhabitants. The families of Li Fuzhen, Chen Jianfeng and Zhu Zhiwen used to live in such houses, and turned their life around by partnering with Habitat for Humanity China and improving their homes with the helping hands of 60 YK Pao School volunteer students.
Mr. Li is a 36-year-old single man from the San Cun village, Conghua, Guangdong. He was living with his parents in a dark and very small mud-brick house built a few decades ago. There was no sanitation of any kind inside the house. His father, 77 years old, suffer from brain damage due to a cerebrovascular accident, and needs long-term treatment. His mother, 60 years old, helps the family by gardening and doing casual work to support the very unstable family income. The family burden falls on M. Li, who dropped out of high school to get a job. He earns a wage of RMB2,500 a month, which hardly cover the cost of food and daily supplies for his parents and himself, as well as his father’s medical expenses, leaving nothing for savings.
By partnering with Habitat for Humanity China, and with the help of 16 motivated volunteer students from the YK PAO School, M. Li and his parents were able to build a new house of 70 m², with baked bricks and a reinforced concrete structure. They were even able to build indoor sanitation facilities, and now have clean tap water and indoor toilets. This new home is a new opportunity for the Li family: it brings safety and stability, and lightens the burden on M. Li’s shoulders, who can focus on his career and savings to continue to better his family’s situation.
Mr Zhu, 22 years old, lives in the Lilong village, Yangshuo, Guangxi. Because of inborn poliomyelitis, M. Zhu cannot stand nor talk, and is incapable of working. His mother Qin, 50 years old, must support the family, and manages an income of RMB 8,000 a year. They used to live in a very damaged and unstable house, but, in 2015, they were lucky enough to receive help from a poverty housing program Habitat for Humanity China is involved in which allowed them to build a new home on an 80m² area. The Habitat for Humanity volunteers helped with the painting and house decoration. The family is delighted and enjoys a fresh start in their new beautiful home.
The YK Pao School volunteer students worked very hard for three days on these different building sites, by transporting and fixing steel bars, mixing concrete, building concrete ground beams and moving dirt to level the ground. It was the first time that they got involved into such construction work, and it was a very tough challenge for their physical capacities. Their compassion toward the families and their contribution to the project are very appreciated by both the house owners and Habitat for Humanity China.