The “tiny home” movement is sweeping North America—many people are beginning to embrace a simpler way of life, moving to homes that count their square footage in the hundreds rather than the thousands. They realize that happiness can be achieved with far less than they might have originally thought.
But tiny homes are nothing new. People have lived in tiny homes for much of human history—and millions around the world still live in homes that we would consider “tiny” by North American standards. Here are a few beautiful pictures of what these tiny homes around the world look like.
But there are drawbacks to these “tiny” homes.
We don’t need big homes to live happy and fulfilled lives. But while the tiny homes of North America often have all the amenities—down to granite countertops—there are a few things lacking from the tiny homes that many children in poverty live in around the world.
- Improved roofs: Some rural communities around the world still use thatching for roofs. Although they look quaint, thatched roofs can house insects such as fleas which can negatively impact the health of the people living in the house. Thatched roofs also can leak in heavy rains and need to be repaired or replaced often. Other families in poverty rely on metal sheeting for roofs. These are an improvement to thatched roofs, but as these age, they can also leak and are drafty in cold weather.
- Improved flooring: Many homes in the developing world have dirt floors in their homes rather than improved flooring such as concrete or wood. When it rains, the floors can become muddy and attract insects. Diarrhea and respiratory and parasitic diseases spread more easily in homes with dirt floors.
- Electricity: Many homes of those living in extreme poverty lack electricity. Beyond the practical inconveniences, this seriously impacts health as well. Often families will have indoor fires and kerosene lanterns, which contribute to indoor air pollution and can cause acute respiratory infections—one of the leading killers of children in poverty.
- Water and sanitation: Often the homes of those in extreme poverty lack sanitary toilets, garbage collection and access to safe water. This deadly combination causes the deaths of 1,000 children under age five each day.
- Security: Some families in poverty may use a bed sheet or other material in place of a door. Those who have a door may not have one that locks securely. These families lack a sense of security that they can keep their loved ones safe at night. Moreover, these homes are also easily destroyed. Countless homes of people in extreme poverty are destroyed or damaged every year due to storms, mudslides, hurricanes or flooding.
Do you want to help a family in extreme poverty rebuild a home that is safe, healthy and secure after a disaster? Join with other Canadians to build a home.