Hundreds of Nicaraguan Families Celebrate Safe Homes
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2016) Rows of candy-colored houses line the streets of a new village in the town of Santa Pancha, Nicaragua. Complete with a community center and chicken coop project, the village is now a place of refuge for 84 families who once lived in constant fear of being swallowed by the earth beneath their feet.
“I thank God and I thank you for your support for everything we now have,” said Pablo, a new home recipient. “I feel peaceful because during the night I am no longer afraid. I thank God and I thank you because we have this blessing, we have this house!”
Pablo and his wife Maria once lived in a makeshift structure with their daughter and her children in the mining town of Malpaisillo, León. For more than 50 years, the family– like so many others living near León’s active gold-mining site– was tormented day and night by blasts from the mines that triggered deadly sink holes without warning.
Food For The Poor and the American Nicaraguan Foundation were working on securing safe land in Santa Pancha for these families when Dani Johnson learned about the situation. Dani, ABC Television’s “Secret Millionaire,” author, business and relationship expert, decided to fund a housing project. The entire project took less than a year to complete because of the help of dedicated donors and Food For The Poor.
“They don’t have to live in fear anymore. They live in safety because of your heart, because of the goodness that has come out of you to do the right thing,” said Dani. “You heard the cry of the poor, you heard their cry and you answered it.”
Dani also built the first of 30 homes in a village in the coastal town of Jiquilillo, Chinandega, for the families she met last year while traveling to Nicaragua with Food For The Poor. It wasn’t sink holes that plagued this community, but flood water from rising tides. Dani plans to continue to build homes in the new village for families as needed.
“A home along the coastline can conjure up idyllic imagines in the mind, but when your home is a tarp covered dwelling made out of sticks and scraps of tin, life near the shore can be dangerous– especially during the rainy season,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “For generations these families in Jiquilillo have lived with the uncertainty of the changing tides and now these 30 families have newly built homes in a nice community. There aren’t enough words to express their gratitude to everyone who helped to make this dream a reality for them and the future generations to follow.”
Dani now has turned her attention to the town of El Limonal, Chinandega, where daily life is especially hard. Dozens of families spend their days scavenging through the filth of the local garbage dump in search of food or anything that can be sold to buy food. These families not only spend countless hours picking through a dangerous mountain of garbage, they also live in dirt floor huts with no sanitation at the base of the dump where an unbearable stench and multitudes of flies fill the air.
“We’re working on a project where we’re going to put these families in brand new homes, and we’re going to help them with water and plumbing,” said Dani. “We’re working with an organization that’s going to help turn a dump into a sustainable project to help them earn money so that they can support their families, which will change their lives and lifestyle.”
A village of 103 homes will be built by Food For The Poor in the town of El Limonal, away from the dump. Each two-bedroom home will have sanitation and a water component. A community center also will be built in the central part of the village. Each family will receive an eco-stove and also will be trained in self-sustaining projects.
“We’re so very grateful that Dani Johnson has decided to work on these homebuilding projects with Food For The Poor. Because of her loving generosity and her passion for the poor, she has helped to restore hope to so many families. Soon more than a hundred more families will have safe and secure homes,” said Aloma.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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