Housing is essential for normal healthy living. It forms an indispensable part of ensuring human dignity. “Suitable housing” is more than just the four walls of a room and a roof over one’s head. It fulfills deep-seated psychological needs for privacy and personal space; physical needs for security and protection from inclement weather; and social needs for basic gathering points where important relationships are forged and nurtured. A home is one of the most important things in a family’s life. Sadly, not everyone has the privilege of having one. This is especially true in Mozambique, which remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
Mozambique has a relatively low level of urbanization, with only 31.2 percent of its population living in cities. The lack of affordable housing and access to financial assistance forces most families rely on their own savings and local materials to build their own homes. Homes in rural areas are mostly made of clay or straw. There is very limited investment in the low-cost housing sector, as greater returns can be achieved on high-end projects. Very few private projects aim to deliver affordable housing, according to Housing Finance Africa. This is why it´s necessary to have housing projects that focus on the people living under these conditions.
Most homes lack windows, preventing daylight from entering. Worse, these homes are not well-protected during the rainy season, which can last for months. Some fall apart and others are severely damaged by the weather. One can only imagine the damaging physical and psychological effects that result from having to sleep on a cold ground with wind blowing through the walls and water constantly leaking in.
But there is something we can do to change this. Our planet has a wealth of earth, grass, and waste. Why not combine them and build something beautiful while also helping our planet heal?
Project Vita is working to improve the living conditions of people living in poverty by supporting them and teaching them build stronger, more water-resistent homes. Rather than come up with something entirely new, we incorporate traditional methods with modern techniques. By combining recycled and local materials, we can give the poorest of the poor better homes, where they can get sunlight during the day and restful sleep at night without worrying about the wind and rain.