The Abijuru Family
“Oregon reminds me a lot of Rwanda,” said Marie. “Both are very green and filled with lots of beautiful trees.”
Despite the geographic similarities, moving to an unfamiliar country thousands of miles away from anything her family had ever known was an extreme change. Not relocating meant life-long uncertainty and conflict for Marie and her family.
After fleeing civil war and genocide in Rwanda in 1996, Marie and her family relocated to Ivory Coast. However, their new home also experienced unrest when political violence errupted claiming the life of Marie’s husband. Marie knew she needed a safe, more stable environment to raise her three children. In 2004, Marie made the decision to come to the United States.
The first few years in the United States were an adjustment, but Marie found community within her church, worked hard to pursue her education and secured a good job to provide a better life for her family. Despite working full time at an information technology support position, Marie has been unable to afford a healthy place for her family to call home.
Her current apartment has leaky plumbing and mold problems that affect her children’s allergies.
“Our current living conditions are very frustrating,” said Marie. “We are scared the mold will get worse, making our allergies even more of an issue.”
Marie knew she had to figure out a way to provide a safe home environment for her children, so when a coworker told her about the Habitat program, she applied right away.
“All I want is to live with dignity and have peace and safety for my family,” said Marie. “When I heard about Habitat, I knew it would help me achieve these goals.”
Marie and her family are excited to realize their dream of owning a home. They are working hard to finish their 500 hours of sweat equity and aim at moving into their new, healthy home in Gresham this month.
“Habitat has given my family a chance to live a better life,” said Marie. “Becoming a homeowner will provide us with a future filled with wellness and independence.”