After her family was evicted from their home, five-year-old Deneilis shared a two-bedroom home with 11 other people. Her family had to wait for their relatives to go to bed before they could pull out old mattresses and sleep on the living room floor.
09 Oct, 2020
Since the pandemic hit their island community, jobs had become scarce. Her father looked for daily jobs every day but came home empty-handed all too often. Soon, hunger and stress took their toll on the family.
When tutor Danubia from Deneilis’s Compassion child development centre came to visit the family to check on Deneilis’s wellbeing, she was shocked at the little girl’s condition. “After the pandemic started, Deneilis looked underweight and shy,” she says.
"I felt so sad. It was a painful situation,” says Danubia. “'Trust God,' I told them. 'Keep praying because God has good plans for you'."
Danubia informed Dorca, the centre director, about Deneilis's situation. The staff quickly took action. Through the Highly Vulnerable Children fund, Compassion's church partner built the family a new home on land Deneilis's grandfather owned.
“The child was at risk of abuse because of the overcrowding in her grandmother's house. As she slept on the floor, she was exposed to snakes, crabs, and rats,” says Dorca. “Deneilis was suffering from skin allergies from living in these conditions.”
The day Danubia gave the family the good news about their new house was one she will never forget. “Deneilis's father was crying. This news was a miracle for them. 'I am not going to sleep on the floor anymore' said Deneilis excitedly. I thank God for this blessing for them," she says.
One month later, Deneilis could move into her new home. It is a pink wooden house with a cement floor, two rooms, a kitchen, and a living room, positioned in front of the sea. Pausing by their green front door, smiling, Deneilis couldn't decide what she liked the most about her new home. “I like my bedroom. I feel so happy with my new bed,” she says. “I like everything in my house! Thanks to all who helped us to have our home.”
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Words by Lina Marcela Alarcón Molina and Amanda Viviers
Photos by Lina Marcela Alarcón Molina
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