All my life I found my father struggling to save to build us a house. One house. Where many of his friends had more than one, it took him his entire career to make one. The stress took away his health, most of his hair and his youth. I never understood this need. I never understood why it was so important to him. I never understood it.
Married now, and living from rent to rent and place to place, I value his struggle more. It seems a gigantic task that my husband and I will ever achieve this. Our dreams are small. A tiny, three bedroom house, just enough to protect us from the wrath of rents, landlords and constant insecurity. A place of our own to raise our child; a place of our own where we can have a wall dedicated to the bi-annual height checks of our children. I understand my father’s pain now, because I am beginning to feel it too.
And this is why, I think of all those, who had homes that were destroyed in an instance, the homes that sheltered their families and protected them from the natural and social hazards. In a culture where women are protected only when within the four walls of their home, they were suddenly without shelter and without the basic necessities. The little things, like living without spoons, or glasses, or pots and pans. Little problems in life that we cannot comprehend. Imagine, having a home, no matter how tiny and fragile, but having a home… and then one day losing it all through no fault of your own.
My goal now is to build homes, or may be a home. For people who had one and lost it. For people who do not have uncles and aunts, and parents with whom they can take refuge in their time of difficulty. For people whose social fabric is as fragile and helpless as they are.
My dream house is a three bedroom. It’s a small tiny dream. But their dream is one room. Just one. And not even architecturally elegant. Just a room. An attached toilet is a luxury. I feel ashamed of my dream now, of my greed, of our desire to accumulate. I’m changing my dream now. For a while, I’m changing my dream.
I’m seeking your help to build a house for someone who is without a roof right now. A house, you and I would never even dream of living in. It can take ten of us to make one house, or it can take one. The point is to start, to dream a dream for someone else, to make someone else’s dream a reality, give back the years, youth, and peace of mind to someone else’s parents; to provide a room for someone else’s child, to look beyond ourselves.
If you can donate Rs. 500- that’s a lot; because it will add to the little contributions we all will make. Maybe we make a house for one family. Maybe we make a house for two. Maybe we are better people than we think we are. Maybe.
Geographical Area: Manchar Lake Area (near Thano Bula Khan) in Sindh
Prime Beneficiaries: Women headed households
Structure: One room, veranda, kitchen and toilet
Cost: Rs. 80,000 per house.
(The money will go through a friend, Naseer Memon. He heads an organization that is working in the area, but more importantly, he is one of the most competent and patriotic people I’ve ever met. He is trying to locate the deserving households and will also provide details of the beneficiaries. There is a guarantee that no money will go into Operational Costs and will go straight into the construction.)
You can email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org for details