“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7)
Ann, Paula, Age, Mariano, Alba, and many other families around the world currently experiencing internal displacement, are all looking for the same warmth and security that Mary and Joseph were seeking for their family. It is estimated that there are 150 million people who are homeless and 1.6 billion who lack adequate housing (YaleGlobal. 2017; Habitat, 2017).
Advent is a time for reflection. So, as we celebrate Jesus’ birth, let us take the time to consider the many families around the world who are, right now, experiencing homelessness, living in inadequate housing, and are exhausted by natural disaster and conflict.
Just as the innkeeper did for Mary and Joseph, this Christmas, can you help a destitute family have a home?
Ann lives with her 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren in the slum of Soweto, Nairobi (Kenya). They are surrounded by sewage spillages and mosquitoes transmitting malaria. A new, better quality home outside of the slum will ensure that the children have a space to focus on their homework and can grow up in a safe, healthy environment.
Mariano lost his home when Typhoon Ulysses hit the Philippines in November. The flooding swept everything away, including all his 6 children’s school books and stationary. While Mariano works as a garbage collector, his salary is not enough to build a proper house. Mariano needs help to build his family a safe home, free from the risk of flooding, that they can call their own.
Age lost her husband to Covid-19 earlier this year. She lives in North Macedonia with her two children. As their old house is up for demolition, they currently all share one cold, damp room in a barn. Although the family owns a plot of land, they need help building a new house with a proper toilet. This will provide the children with a warm, safe house, free from worry, where they can concentrate on their futures.
Paula is a young Venezuelan migrant living in Cali, Colombia. When her partner left her, she had to take care of her 5 children by herself, alone in a different country. Thankfully, the local community stepped in and provided some vital help. A new home will ensure Paula has a safe and secure home for her children to grow up in during the pandemic and beyond.
Alba lost her family home after hurricanes Eta and Iota struck two weeks apart. The house is near San Pedro Sula, Honduras, an area at extremely high risk of flooding, so repairing it would be a futile investment. Alba wakes most nights having had nightmares about more flooding. So a new house will bring Alba and her family, not just safety and stability, but also peace and hope.