Having lived his whole life in the single room of a government-provided dormitory Stefan spends much of his time now outdoors, enjoying the space his new home provides. It is a welcome change to see him so active, his mother says.
Valentina Bogdanovski’s husband had good reason to feel rushed in building his new family home – two of them, in fact. His son, Stefan, and his daughter, Stefanija – born just seven days after the family finally moved in. It was a story that might have ended differently were it not for Habitat for Humanity.
Taking out a loan of more than $5,000 from HFH, Valentina’s husband Dejan and her father-in-law finally finished a home they had been building for two years. In that time, the family had been living in a single dorm room, provided by the government after Dejan’s family home was destroyed during ethnic clashes here in Macedonia in 2001. When Valentina got pregnant in 2005, they new they had to move fast. But they, like many families here in Macedonia, we handcuffed by their lack of savings.
“When we had saved a little my husband and his father would build a bit,” Valentina said. “Then we would save some more.”
Today, the growing family lives in a newly-completed, five-room house. As important as the house is, Valentina said, the yard outside is nearly as valuable, as her son Stefan, who has lived his whole life in a single room, now enjoys the open spaces he has never known.
“There was no yard at the dorm,” Valentina said. “Here, he is outside all day.”