One of the things R.O.S.E encourages is that all donations are made in the form of projects. This way, no one family comes to be dependent on tourist charity in their everyday life. Projects are prioritized for the people most in need.
Last week I visited the home of a recently widowed young woman named Ganga. Jeevan told me that building a safe home for her is a priority for R.O.S.E because the living conditions for the family have become unsafe.
On October 24, Ganga received news that her husband met with an accident and died while at work. He worked in another village transporting cargo on mules. The family has no life insurance as it is the case with most of the poorest families here. The family lives hand-to-mouth and didn’t have enough money to pay for her husband’s funeral, so Jeevan kindly offered to cover the cost.
Ganga is a young mother of two boys, and lives with and cares for her parents-in-law and mother, as it is typical in a nuclear family in India. Ganga’s family does not own farm land, and she works on other farms and makes a modest salary Rs. 1500 or $28 CAD per month. Right now, Jeevan provides food for the children but hopes that Ganga will find a better paying job in the coming months to become more independent.
I didn’t talk to Ganga or her family because the loss was obvious in their faces. I wanted to tell Ganga that she has already received a generous $700 from friends and family in Canada, and that she has support from people that don’t even know her. But not being able to speak the language, I didn’t want to risk being disrespectful of their mourning period. So I quietly took photos, helped Jeevan take some measurements and got my information from him later.
As in the photo below, their neighbour’s roof collapsed under the weight of the monsoon rains. Shortcuts were taken and the house was constructed with cheap quality materials such as low quality steel rods. Because Ganga’s house shares a wall and roof with them, it’s clear the family needs a safer place to live.
Jeevan says land is available, and there are some raw like stones and sand. But cement and steel rods and other resources need to be purchased. The cost of building a new home, including two rooms and a sanitary toilet and bath, is around $4900 CAD.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and family for the generous donations! 🙂 With the money Jeevan will be placing an order for steel rods. Jeevan plans to collect as much as he can until Christmas and depending on the amount, either a new home will be built for Ganga’s family, or the existing one with be renovated (with stronger roof and wall reinforcements, and sanitary toilet).
If you’d like to donate to Ganga’s home feel free to drop me a note. I’m happy to pass on all donations. Hopefully, Ganga and her family will have a safe place to call home in 2013!
Additional photos can been seen here on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152270415955193.930345.726530192&type=1&l=9a78c06397
Here is a table with the cost breakdown of building a new house for Ganga’s family – with two rooms plus a toilet and bath.