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‘Habitat’ helps Valencia family

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Valencia family of five, including an ailing teenager, is among nearly ten Valencia families receiving assistance from international organisation Habitat for Humanity. The organisation continued construction of a new home for the Mathura family yesterday. Members of the Republic Bank executive board, including chairman Ronald Hafford and managing director David Dulal-Whiteway, assisted with the construction.



Emille Mathura, 16, has a genetic disorder of her nervous system called neurofibromatosis. This disorder damages the nervous system and causes tumours to grow in the nervous tissue which cause bumps on the skin and other neurological problems. Her mother, Asha, 36, and father Deryck, 39, have been financially strained by Emille’s medical treatments. Their two-room wooden home at Orion Circular, KP Lands, has a leaking roof, rotting floorboards and is prone to flooding. 


Asha’s three children—Emille and her siblings Bryan, 13, and Alyssa, 9—share one bedroom. The family has also been subject to two break-ins which have left them feeling unsecure. “This new home will make us feel 100 per cent safer and more secure especially the children because they always associate this house with the break-ins,” Asha told the T&T Guardian yesterday. 


As many as 60 volunteers from Habitat for Humanity—some from Austin, Texas, USA—were out yesterday mixing cement and working on the inner finish of the Mathura home. The house is expected to be completed in one month. The foundation for the house was laid on February 15 and yesterday’s exercise was towards the completing the project. 


Asha added that the extra space will be beneficial to Emille, whose condition is extremely painful. The Mathura family is also awaiting word on a grant from the Children’s Life Fund to assist help Emille to afford treatment at John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 


For the past two years, Habitat for Humanity volunteers have been working in the KP Lands, Valencia, area to rehabilitate and construct homes for needy families, according Julian Chester, volunteer and alliance officer for Habitat for Humanity T&T. The programme recently received sponsorship from Republic Bank through their When Leaders Build initiative. When Leaders Build encourages executives and managers from various institutions to go out into the field and volunteer.


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