Homeowner Story – Nazlet Faragallah
Ramses, his wife and three children are Habitat homeowners in Nazlet Faragallah, El Minya. Ramses is a plasterer by trade and has worked on so many Habitat homes in his village that he’s lost count. Habitat’s work in Nazlet Faragallah has kept Ramses from having to travel to larger cities in search of work to support his family. After working on numerous Habitat homes himself, Ramses is now finally plastering his own home with the help of a Habitat loan and is proud to be able to be able to provide a safe and clean living environment for his own children. Ramses and his wife have a fourth child, a daughter, not pictured here. She is 14 years old and is mentally handicapped.
In Upper Egypt having a child with a mental handicap is often a shameful and stigmatizing experience. Many Egyptians believe that children are afflicted with mental disabilities as a punishment for the sins of their parents. As a result, these children are often kept hidden from the community and many are severely neglected. Despite the cultural stigma surrounding mental disabilities, Ramses and his wife have not only been open with the community about their daughter’s handicap but have done everything in their power to ensure that she is able to reach her full potential. Without the resources to care for their daughter, Ramses and his wife have taken her to a home for disabled children in Cairo. They visit as often as they can, usually every other month, but miss having her at home. While they are relieved that she is in a place where her needs are provided for, they are concerned that she is not being educated.
Now that Ramses has a home that is safe and wheel chair accessible, they hope to bring their daughter home to be with her family. It is their dream to find a school near to their home where their daughter could attend special classes. Habitat for Humanity Egypt is working with its local partners in hopes that this dream can someday be achieved. In a culture where the education of girls is not always valued and caring for a handicap child is extremely difficult, Ramses and his family are a shining example of hope.