Improving physical health, family life and self-esteem
The social function of Constru Casa can be summarized as improving families’ living conditions, improving their health and ultimately improving their family life and also their self-esteem. A newly constructed Constru Casa house offers families additional space and greater safety, as well as improved hygiene, less diseases and better health.
A Constru Casa house can be easily cleaned and ventilated, creating a healthy environment and resulting in less disease for all family members, especially children. These effects are further enhanced by an improved stove and a water filter, also provided with every Constru Casa house. As the house is cleaner and the children are less often sick, the position of the woman in the family improves. Additionally, as some Guatemalan women often work in their houses, their workplace is also improved, advancing the woman’s social position and self esteem.
As there is more space available than before, family life is improved. One of the most frequent comments by beneficiary families is how they enjoy the additional space and how much easier life is now that the parents and children have separate bedrooms. The children’s educational performance also directly benefits from the new house, as they are able to quietly carry out their homework in an appropriate space.
As the house protects the inhabitants against drought, water and vermin, the family is able to lead a life in more stability, not losing their productivity to a rainstorm sweeping away their floor. Reduced worrying about such unforeseen impacts also benefits them psychologically.
Lastly, the repayment mechanism of Constru Casa develops the family’s ability to contribute to a common goal and work together. This results in greater financial awareness and greater self-esteem and ultimately helps the family break the cycle of poverty.
Increase in employment
Constru Casa also generates employment for the local population and stimulates the local market. Constru Casa always constructs houses in co-operation with local companies and employees by working with local construction workers and their helpers in addition to buying materials in the local market in surrounding communities. The family members who help in the construction, because one is required to do so, often are trained by the masons and develop a new skill set that generates income for them. Additionally, construction workers and their helpers are educated to become independent constructors.
Constru Casa constructs with locally available materials. The houses are built with a concrete floor, concrete blocks and a corrugated iron roof. Sand, gravel and block are abundantly available in Guatemala and cement and corrugated iron are made locally. In contrast, constructing with wood is not only more expensive, but also not recommended because of the huge deforestation problem in Guatemala.