Find out how to participate below.
Pictured below are the first 19 Kantolomba residents who have received loans to put roofs on their homes. Houses in Kantolomba are made from unfired mud brick. This means that in the rainy season, if there is not a proper roof, a house is in great danger of melting back into the earth. Dozens of houses collapse every year in Kantolomba. Almost no one has a proper roof. The money required to purchase the supplies--wood for beams, roofing sheets, and nails--is more than anyone in Kantolomba has at one time. We agreed to take on the challenge of helping these 19 people secure their homes with roofs and other improvements. They were perfect candidates to launch the program because they all work for Living Compassion and have a steady source of income that allows them to pay back the loan.
The effect of these 19 roofs on their owners and on the community has been overwhelming. As the roofs went up, Theresa (the Zambian coordinator of Living Compassion’s projects in Africa) wrote to say, “Greetings to you all in God’s name. You are our source of inspiration here in Zambia. You are the pride of Kantolomba. Our showers of blessings will continue to be on our lips forever here in Zambia, particularly Kantolomba. The women are in praises of you all for what you have done for them-the roofs. Whenever we put up someone’s roof there is dancing and ululating, stirring the compound, bringing the whole community, admiring what you are doing for the volunteers. Even the councilor could not help but come to say thank you to you all there in the USA. That is the message to you all. The first thing that has happened here in Kantolomba. NGO’s come and go but do not mend people’s roofs.”
Watch on video.
The celebration continued through the fall, but it was in winter that the program really paid off: as Theresa wrote on Christmas Eve, “Here in Zambia the team is doing great and each day as the rain progresses they are thanking you from the bottom of their hearts that this rainy season for them it’s a different story, no matter how hard it rains their homes do not leak.”
The first 19 roof loan recipients:
"Whenever we put up someone’s roof there is dancing and ululating..." Watch video.
Providing a Roof Loan
One roof loan is $530. After a loan is given, the borrower pays back $10 each month. This $10 goes into a lending fund that is then made available for cooperative members to receive micro loans. These loans are used for things such as alleviating past debts, paying a child's education fees, and purchasing much-needed household items that might otherwise be out of financial reach. The members of the cooperative tell us that these two programs, the roof loans and the micro loans, have done more towards setting them up for economic sustainability than anything thus far.
If you would like to participate and can’t donate the whole $530, we welcome contributions of any size. We will pool all contributions to provide full loans.
To make part or all of a loan, you can pay online with our donation page or send a check to:
P.O. Box 1756
Murphys, CA 95247
Please note on your online or check loan that it is for the “Roof Loan Program”.