A Dream Come True

For Mari Lu and Lino Vizoro, a new house changed everything.

Top: This shanty is where the Vizoro family used to live. Left: The Vizoro family now lives in this house built by the Gawad Kalinga housing program. Right: Mari Lu, Samantha, Angelica, and Lino Vizoro.

“We used to be one of three families who lived together in one house,” Mari Lu said. “The house had no toilet inside—we had just a common outhouse for 10 families! When it rained the house flooded because it was below street level. This new house is above street level, so it won’t flood.”

The Vizoros, along with their daughters Samantha and Angelica, live in Pasay City, part of metro Manila in the Philippines. They used to live in the shanty pictured here, which was patched together with tin, wood, and whatever other materials they could find. Flooding and disease were two major problems in the area, along with crowded and dirty living conditions.

Thousands of families live in horrible conditions in slums throughout the Philippines. An estimated 5 million families in the Philippines are in need of safe housing. These poor men, women, and children live each day on the edge of survival. Families living here are constantly exposed to garbage, polluted water, and disease.

But there is hope for these families. The Gawad Kalinga (Giving Care) housing program replaces these shanty communities with clean, safe houses. For families like the Vizoros, a new house is more than just a building—it’s a chance for Mari Lu and Lino to offer a better future for Samantha and Angelica. Their new house, shown here, keeps them warm and dry, and it also gives them self-esteem and hope.

Mari Lu says God gave her a house and answered her prayer for a safe place to raise her daughters.

“Thank you for the materials to build a dream come true,” she said.

Click here to read about Gawad Kalinga and the many other housing programs that Cross International supports around the world with the help of generous American Christians.

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