Building new homes

Funding required: $86,900

This project will help: 62 Compassion beneficiaries and their families

Estimated completion date: October 2022

Country: Rwanda

Executive summary

Shelter is an essential human need that impacts every area of a child’s life including their health, self-esteem, education and socialization. Sadly, for many children supported by Compassion in Rwanda, a safe home environment is simply not a reality.

Unsafe housing is a major challenge for many families living in the rural communities of Rulindo, Gakenke, Burera, Gicumbi and Musanze areas of the Northern Province of Rwanda. Compassion’s frontline church partners are working in these communities to share the love of Christ and support children’s holistic development. However, some families are living in such extreme conditions that it is beyond the resources of local churches to help. These homes are poorly constructed and in terrible shape, often consisting of a single room that the entire family shares.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, heavy downpours, landslides and strong winds have damaged many dwellings and left children reliant on friends or neighbours for temporary shelter. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the crisis, as many caregivers have lost their source of income, plunging them further into poverty and can’t afford to repair or improve their homes.

Living like this takes a heavy toll on children who can’t sleep comfortably at night and face the constant threat of their homes collapsing. This has an impact on their mood, behaviour and academic performance. Embarrassed by their situation, some children are routinely absent from school and have had poor attendance at their local Compassion centres. Without intervention, their future is on the line. These families are living in dire conditions, and children are struggling. They and their loved ones need and deserve a safe place to call home.

Our partners in these communities have identified 62 families in immediate need of improved housing. Your help will see the construction of secure, stable housing for these 62 families across 11 Compassion centres in Rwanda. Homes will be constructed using cement, sand and stones, with iron sheet roofing and complete with doors and windows to promote basic health and safety.

Did you know?

The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child states that all children hold the right to a safe environment in which to live.



Compassion exists as an advocate for children to release them from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. Providing children with safe shelter is an important part of this effort, as it is integral to their successful holistic development. In northern Rwanda, 11 of Compassion’s church partners in a number of rural communities have identified a significant need to improve the housing conditions for 62 families living in extreme conditions. With their homes demolished by various natural disasters and heavy rains, caregivers living in poverty do not have the financial means to fix or rebuild their houses, leaving them with no choice but to remain in unsafe, dilapidated shelters. By providing selected families with improved housing, Compassion seeks to eliminate this barrier to children’s development, while empowering caregivers by giving them hope for a better tomorrow.

The need

Unsafe housing poses a major hindrance to children’s holistic development and well-being. When children grow up in miserable conditions, they are more prone to illness and infection. They often struggle with low self-esteem and can struggle to make friends. Poor living conditions also make children more prone to absence from school and their Compassion centres, threatening their education and future success.

You can provide new homes for 62 families from 11 Compassion centres in Rwanda—benefiting a total of 372 people. Each of these families has an existing home that will be either renovated or replaced. As a standard, any house with one room will be upgraded to at least two bedrooms and a living room. Each house will have a concrete floor; mud, iron sheet, or timber walls; and iron sheet roofing. Caregivers and other local community members will contribute their labour. With your support, these families will have new homes and, more importantly, new hope.

What your gift will do

Your support will provide home construction for 62 families, including:

  • Building materials:
    • Cement, sand, stones and gravel
    • Soakway for pit latrines
    • Reinforcement steel and steel binding wire
    • Mud bricks
    • Timber and wood preservative
    • Iron sheets, nails
    • 124 metallic doors (2/house)
    • 186 wooden doors (3/house)
    • 248 windows (4/house)
  • Skilled labour
  • Unskilled labour
  • Water for construction
  • Transportation


  • Local contribution: US$48,062.00; caregivers and other community members will also provide unskilled labour.
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Rwanda will ensure that this intervention remains within budget.
  • Follow-up: Teams comprising caregivers, project management and centre staff will assist with hiring construction teams and will supervise the work. Local churches will monitor the progress of this intervention and report back to the Compassion Rwanda. They will also follow up with families to ensure they feel safe, secure and happy in their new homes.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.