I clearly remember how I felt when I entered Daniela’s house for the first time. The house was very small, dark, damp and shady. As soon as we started auditing, we realized that one of the biggest issues of the house was the lack of windows. In total, they only had two small windows in the house. Furthermore, those windows were blocked by the pile of garbage and a shelf, so the house got very little sunlight. As a result, walls were damp and full of mold, which could cause the children’s health problems.
With the volunteers of WWB, we hollowed out some walls and put window frames so that they would have a better ventilation system and get more sunlight. As we were working on, Sofia told me the reason why the family had only two windows: they were afraid of windows. The house used to have a big window in the front of the house. However, the window was covered up because when Daniela was living in the house with her mother, someone tried to break in to their house for robbery. As well as the mother, the oldest daughter is traumatized by windows because of her past experience. One time, her uncle intended to surprise her parents through the windows, but he went to a wrong room and woke the children up. Taking these episodes into consideration, we installed bars with the new windows.
With the new windows, the house has drastically changed. Now the gloomy and shady environment has been transformed into brighter and healthier one. Through this experience, I witnessed that such a tiny change can cause a huge impact. In addition, I clearly perceived that we were working not only in the house but also with the people who are living in the house. By transforming the house, we were changing the family’s life too. The significance of communicating with the family besides assessing the house lies in this point. I really hope the new windows will be a good peg for the new departure of the family.
-Written by Kaori Tsuji