In February 2015, the COINS Foundation team returned to the warm and dusty climate of rural Uganda, to a remote village located near the district of Luwero. Armed with lots of cameras and a huge sense of excitement, our mission was to revisit and capture the stories of five families that we first met in 2012 to see how they are getting on after three years of working with their housing loans obtained via Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity is an international organisation that believes in creating a pathway out of poverty by eliminating poverty housing and homelessness, to achieve this, Habitat has provided a way for families to fund building their own homes through microfinance loans. These loans ensure that families are able to adapt their homes to provide a safe place for their children to eat and sleep. Our visit in February allowed us to revisit five families at different stages in their loan cycles and monitor the successes of this program whilst gaining an insight into the way the families are affected by their home improvements. Today we bring you, the story of David and Harriet.

Ambitious, driven and with twelve children, David and Harriet are an inspiring example of the positives of the microfinance housing loans, which have benefitted not only them and their children but their community as a whole. On hearing their story it is clear that improved housing creates a culture of respect, with other members of the village now looking to David and Harriet as not only an inspiration but a knowledge source on how, they too, can learn from them to improve their own homes, manage their finances and send their children to school.

The improved housing ensures that David and Harriet’s children have a safe place to grow up, removing the worry of certain pressures of poverty, including disease that otherwise may prevent them from obtaining an education. With cleaner places to sleep and prepare food, the children are free to go to school and focus on their futures, with many aspiring to be doctors, nurses and teachers. It is clear that the provision of housing loans allows families to create an environment that encourages aspiration, pride and resilience and an exciting outlook for the future.