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News and Resources

WAT helps women build homes and community


News and Resources
 
By Claude Dumulon-Lauziere
 
 
Grace Anderson Kagisa is a cook who sells her goods in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. She earns a modest income of 50,000 Tanzanian shillings per month – an equivalent of $33 CAD. Grace used to rent a two-room dwelling, which she shared with her husband, two children, her brother and sister-in-law. Rent consumed her entire monthly income. Her husband’s similarly low earnings went to other living expenses. Purchasing land or a house was far out of reach, and mortgages for low-income individuals simply do not exist.
 

Then Grace heard about WAT Human Settlements Trust. Rooftops Canada has had a long and close partnership with WAT providing funding, technical assistance and other support. WAT-HST gave Grace her first housing microfinance loan to purchase a plot of land. This loan was quickly repaid and a second loan allowed her to begin building her house. With the technical support from WAT-HST, Grace is currently building a two-room house (inclusive of a bathroom) for her family. She talks about the opportunities and possibilities to come once her house is complete such as using the house as collateral to borrow for her business. Grace plans on relocating the business in her house so she doesn’t have to travel out so much and can spend quality time with her family. Grace is also proud of the fact that she will be leaving something of high value to her children. Grace says that WAT enabled her to reach her dream of home ownership one step at a time. She now talks about the future with great enthusiasm and hope.