Building a safe home for Tatiana and her family in Nicaragua
Tatiana is a Compassion-assisted beneficiary at the El Buen Pastor Compassion centre in El Guasaule, Nicaragua, a small community of about 900 people near the Nicaragua/Honduras border. With few jobs or vocational training opportunities available in the community, most adults in El Guasale work in agriculture and are usually subsisting from one day to the next. Tatiana lives with both of her parents, but childhood polio left her father permanently disabled, which has made it difficult for him to find employment.
Tatiana has grown up in extreme poverty, and her living conditions were dire. Windowless, doorless and patched together with rusted sheets of scrap metal, plastic tarps and handmade adobe bricks, the family’s dirt-floor dwelling could hardly be called a home. After visiting the site, church staff were shocked at the extreme conditions and felt that something had to be done as soon as possible.
Housing has a profound impact on children’s well-being. Without a comfortable and clean place to sleep, eat and play, children face immense barriers to their holistic development. They are more likely to struggle in school, have low self-esteem and suffer chronic health problems. As these impacts become compounded by other challenges and crises over time, children’s overall well-being only continues to erode and deteriorate.
We believe that every child deserves a safe place to call home, and that providing safe housing is an essential part of their holistic care. Compassion’s housing initiatives provide families with whatever they need to have a safe place to live, whether it is renovations to an existing home or a complete rebuild. Tatiana’s home was in such a terrible state and so close to collapse that a construction supervisor, who inspected the property, advised that nothing could be salvaged. Tatiana’s family needed a new, safe, secure house where they could enjoy life together as a family.
Your gift enabled us to build a new, safe home for Tatiana and her family. In January 2022, church staff met with Tatiana and her parents at their home to explain the intervention and assess the property. After verifying the family’s legal ownership of the land, a construction supervisor inspected the home and advised that it be demolished completely. Tatiana’s parents agreed to clear and level the land as their contribution. Members of the church and some of the family’s friends and neighbours also pitched in to help.
An architect was hired to draw up plans for the home, ensuring that it would adhere to all building codes and safety standards. After the plans were approved, the church hired a local construction company with a good reputation to begin building. The work moved quickly; construction began on April 21, 2022, and the home was completed by May 16th. The partnership facilitator and construction supervisor assisted the leadership team and conducted monitoring visits throughout the construction process.
The new, 48-square-metre home features several windows and a solid wood front door and was constructed with concrete blocks; steel reinforcement bars; and a sturdy, steel-frame metal roof. The house includes a porch; multipurpose living room, kitchen and dining area; a bathroom, two bedrooms and a laundry room. A hydro-sanitary system was installed, and the home was connected to electrical services. For a finishing touch, the exterior was painted a cheerful, bright shade of orange and decorated with balloons and streamers for a special inauguration ceremony. The emotional day included a time of prayer, Bible teaching, worship and an opportunity for each member of the family to share their words of thanks. Tatiana’s bright, happy face says it all—she is so grateful for her new, beautiful home!
Before construction: Tatiana’s family was living in appalling conditions. Their dilapidated, windowless shelter had been roughly constructed with adobe bricks and scrap metal and was barely standing. An inspector visited the property and advised that it be torn down.
A new beginning: The original shelter was demolished, and the land was levelled and cleared of debris. A construction company began building the new home, which features steel reinforcements, cement block walls, a cement floor and a steel-frame roof.
Dedication day: When construction on the home was finished, the church held a special inauguration ceremony to celebrate this incredible blessing. It was an emotional day for Tatiana, her parents and two siblings. Tatiana will never forget the moment she was handed the keys to her new home!
Your Gift Provides...
Your gift helped provide a new home for Tatiana and her family:
• Construction of a 48-square-metre home consisting of two bedrooms, a multipurpose room (living room, kitchen and dining room), a bathroom, a laundry room and a porch for Tatiana and her family:
o Preliminary work and concrete foundation
o Cement blocks for walls
o Roof (steel roof frame, roof and fascia)
o Concrete floor
o Electrical wiring and connection
o Hydro-sanitary system
o Doors and windows
o Steel work, finishes and exterior work
o Sewage drain hole
• Follow-up visits, including transportation and food
ReportA message from those your gift helped
Many people humiliated me because of my housing conditions. My life was sad. I could not live safely when the house was made of black plastic, deteriorated zinc sheets and weak walls.
With my new house, I can invite my friends over to play and talk. I am happy because it is a house with attractive details. My favourite area is my bedroom, where I can rest comfortably and safely.
Now I can grow and study without fear. We are trusting in God, and we unite to go to church and not forget His blessings. My parents are united and give us a lot of love and advice.
I have learned that God keeps His promises. We have waited many years and God has answered our prayers. I am being tidy with my items in the bedroom and supporting my parents with household chores.
I wish you well and that God is with you at all times. My dad mentions every moment the verse from Psalms 127:1, which says “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders work for nothing. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the men who watch over it stay awake for nothing.” Thank you for placing your trust and generosity in my family.
ReportThank you for your generosity
Before this intervention, Tatiana and her family were living in unthinkable conditions. Jose, Tatiana’s father, had spent years applying for relief aid from various organizations. With one application after another being rejected, the family had lost all hope for a better future. Tatiana was even being bullied and ridiculed at school because of the state of her home.
But your gift changed everything! Thanks to your donation we have been able to build a brand-new home for Tatiana—a place she will be proud to grow up in. This experience has completely changed Tatiana’s life. She and her family want you to know how incredibly thankful they are for their new home, which they see as a miracle given by God.
The local community has been astounded by this generous gift. Those who attended the special dedication ceremony will never forget the emotion they felt as the ribbon over the door was cut, or the voice of the small girl holding the microphone to say “thank you.” Today, the family’s bright and cheerful home stands as a tangible reminder of God’s love and faithfulness.
Today, Tatiana enjoys keeping her new bedroom tidy and helping her parents with household chores. She loves inviting her friends over to play and is grateful to have a comfortable place to do her schoolwork. Because of you, Tatiana can face the future with confidence, knowing that God cares for her and will always provide for her needs.
ReportA message from a centre director
Mr. Jose had requested help from different organizations (public and private) and every year he received negative responses. Thanks to God, Tatiana has a unique purpose, and the commitment of our church with Compassion was the means for the family to fulfill their biggest dream: an adequate home.
When the inauguration of the new house took place, our church celebrated it as an act of victory. The community looks at the new house and cannot understand the miracle received by Tatiana and her family.
Our leadership team identified Tatiana’s situation in a timely manner. We concentrated our efforts to collect key information and share it with the National Office contacts. Our partnership facilitator responded to the request immediately, and today we are proud to collaborate and be tools in God’s hands.
We thank God for all the people who are willing to support and send donations. Children and young people can fulfill their dreams when they receive a new home and improve their living conditions.