“Habitat for Humanity is creating a safe future for my family.”
Meet the inspiring Nizeyimana-Ntawanga family, who are embarking on an incredible journey with Habitat for Humanity. Uwera Nizeyimana and Justin Ntawanga are devoted parents to six children: Claude (17), Lucy (16), Dieudonne (15), Musa (13), Obed (8), and Jeremiah (6). The family’s love for soccer is evident, with most of the children passionately playing the sport. They’re die-hard fans of Arsenal, but they also have a soft spot for the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Their story began in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but due to circumstances beyond their control, Uwera and Justin were forced to relocate their family to Uganda. While in Uganda, they welcomed two more additions to the family, Musa and Obed. The year 2016 marked a turning point when they were granted refugee status and came to the United States. Jeremiah, the youngest member of the family, was born in St. Petersburg.
Since their arrival, Justin has been working diligently at US Foods in St. Petersburg’s sanitation department. Uwera, on the other hand, began working night shifts at Hit Promotion’s packaging department once Jeremiah started VPK. Recently, Uwera achieved a significant milestone by becoming a United States citizen. The family actively participates in the community, attending Pinellas Christian Center in St. Petersburg.
Despite their resilience, the family has faced challenges, residing in James Park Apartments. A small living space, combined with the apartment’s less-than-ideal conditions, posed difficulties. Moreover, the environment’s safety was a concern due to prevalent drug-related incidents and occasional gunfire. The burden of high utility costs added to their struggles. Uwera dreams of a house with a yard where her children can play safely, and Justin envisions his own garden for growing fruits and vegetables.
The news of their acceptance into the Habitat for Humanity program brought immense joy to Uwera. She had longed for a secure and stable home for her family. Throughout the process, the family has been actively involved, learning essential skills like landscaping, painting, and insulation installation. Uwera envisions owning a home as a path to empowerment and stability. Unlike the years of renting at James Park, owning a home will enable her to take charge of maintenance and provide a more spacious and secure environment for her children.
Uwera’s story highlights the transformative impact of affordable housing. You can be a part of this life-changing mission by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Your efforts can help families like the Nizeyimana-Ntawanga family achieve the dream of a safe and stable home. Learn how you can get involved by visiting our Volunteer Page on our website.
This home is sponsored by