“My husband was often worried about whether we should focus on meeting our children’s daily needs or build a proper home. It was a difficult choice to make.” – Nafisa, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Nafisa (27), her husband Vasim (30) and their children – Farman (14), Farah (13), Sameer (10), Riyan (8) and Shifa (7), lived in a house made of mud and bricks for nine long years in Sara village of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. The house was built by the family when they shifted from their rental home in the same village. “After we built that house, my sister-in-law and I painted flowers and creepers on the inner walls. I think that is the only thing that we will miss in our new home.” shares Nafisa.

Vasim does multiple jobs to earn a living for his family. He alternates between working as a daily wage labourer, truck driver and playing the banjo in a local band. Nafisa is a skilled artist who takes embroidery orders from the neighbours. Together they earn around 12,000/- to 13,000/- per month.

Living in their old house was a constant challenge for Nafisa and Vasim. During rains, the house would flood, disrupting their lives and their children’s studies. "Every time it rained, the stream in front of our home would overflow, and the floor of our house would be waterlogged. My children couldn’t go to school during this time, and at home, they couldn't even find a decent place to sit and study. We had to scoop the water out using buckets," Nafisa recalls.

“The roof of our house collapsed on one of those days during the monsoon. We were terrified that our children might get trapped under the debris. We made a make-shift house for us to stay and shifted with whatever was left. It was heartbreaking to see everything that we bult with our own hands getting damaged”, says Vasim.

A few days later, staff from Habitat for Humanity India visited their house and saw the conditions they were living in. "When I learnt that they would build a home for us, I was delighted," Vasim shares. Habitat for Humanity India partnered with Nafisa and Vasim to help them build a new home. Construction began in July 2023, and by March 2024, the family moved into their new home. "When the construction started, every night, I used to think about the progress of the construction and how much we would complete the following day. I couldn't sleep due to the anticipation and excitement. Now, I am finally sleeping peacefully. It feels like a dream that I don’t want to wake up from," says Vasim.

Nafisa says “It was difficult to keep the old house clean. Now that we have the new home, I tell the kids to wash their feet before entering the house. I will create handmade art and decorate my entire house for Eid.”

For Nafisa and Vasim, the journey from struggle to home was not just about building walls and a roof but about building a future filled with dreams and possibilities. Their new home is a symbol of their unwavering love for their children and their future.

For Nafisa and Vasim, the journey from the struggle of not having a proper roof over their heads to a decent home was not just about building walls and a roof but about building a future filled with dreams and possibilities. Their new home is a symbol of unwavering love for their children and their future. "Life suddenly has become beautiful. I was worried that all my hair was going to turn grey from the constant worry and insecurity that came with the absence of an adequate home. I don’t have to worry about that anymore. In the new home, I feel like a king!" Vasim says, bursting into laughter with Nafisa.

Their new home represents a fresh start and a brighter future, providing a stable and safe environment for their family to thrive. This transformation stands as a testament to the profound impact of housing.