Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria
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Housing Micro-loan program

Violeta Iordanova - Sliven

Violeta lives in the suburbs of Sliven, just at the foot of the mountain. The bungalow where she lives with her family used to be their summer house when the times were better. But now it is their main house and only home. After the loss of her husband, Violeta decided to move out of her small village and go to Sliven, where she would be closer to her daughter, Pepa and her family.

There are three rooms in this house; Violeta lives in one of them and the other two are shared between her daughter and her grandson Aleksandar, who is graduating from secondary school this year. Violeta’s room was in fact built as a shed and additional extension to the existing bungalow. It was not meant to be a proper room and now she lives in a space where her belongings can barely fit. Several problems make it really difficult to live there, for instance: the very poor insulation and the leaking roof when there are heavy rains. But there are also the roughly plastered walls which need some more painting and the asbestos (a toxic and forbidden material) which covers the top of the house. As the ceiling is missing, the asbestos is totally exposed, increasing the danger for health.

Violeta and her daughter Pepa govern their household with bravery and self-sacrifice, especially since a series of misfortune happened to them when Pepa’s brother died in a mysterious accident while he was serving his time as a soldier. After her son's and husband’s death, Violeta sold the old village house and also the small flat she owned in Sliven, with the intention to buy a bigger apartment for her daughter, grandson and her son in-law to live together. Unfortunately, the money for the new home was squandered in no time by Pepa's husband, a frivolous man with some bad habits, addicted to drugs and gambling. Ashamed of what he has done to his relatives, he vanished, leaving his wife and mother-in-law with no money, no home and with loan obligations to the bank.

Alone, the two women did not have any other choice than seek shelter in their bungalow, making it their permanent living quarters. Most of the remodel works were done by Violeta alone, as they couldn't afford professional contractors and labor.

Velichka is still working although she has reached pension age. She currently works at a nearby supermarket as part of the cleaning staff. Her earnings are about $ 200 monthly.

Furthermore, she is still working although she has reached pension age. She currently works at a nearby supermarket as part of the cleaning staff. Her earnings are about US$200 monthly. The Mikrofond housing loan program gave Violeta the opportunity to take a Euro300 loan and buy some materials for the roof refurbishment and to enhance its insulation. In the spring Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria is planning to organize local volunteers and help her over a couple of weekends to make additional home improvements.

 
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