Decorating, painting, and furnishing the place where you live, or are going to live, is part of customizing it and making it feel like a home. As well as adapting the spaces dependent upon who will be using each of the spaces. For example, a toddler will need space to play, draw, and learn, while a teenager’s space needs will be geared more towards education, employment, or leisure. Different families would have different needs, and therefore different uses of the spaces.
Anticipating these feelings and the needs of families in their homes, ROOF Costa Rica has a program called “Habitat and Inclusion” which seeks to work with the families in social risk.
Habitat and Inclusion “arises from the understanding that families need, or rather seek constant improvement of their home. While it is true that improvements in the living space are important, a house also needs regular and sufficient maintenance to improve its durability”, so explains the Director of Funding Development from ROOF, María José Hernández.
The project also seeks to promote the unique identity of each family in their home so they feel that this new space is truly theirs. As Maria José explains, “we build the houses in wood, and then the project helps the families choose what colors they want to paint their new home”.
The benefits of this project go beyond what colors to paint their home. It also reaches out on a community level. Habitat and Inclusion serves “to generate community identity, and generate community organization”, as the volunteers work together with the members of the family to carry out the work. In this way it creates a sense of inclusion into their community where they now live and participate.
In addition, the ROOF organization and the volunteers have the opportunity to share more with the communities and the families. As Maria Jose explains, “we have helped the family to create a home, as well as determined if the construction went well, and how we can improve our services”.