This is the third in a series of stories focusing on the challenges of finding adequate, affordable housing in the economically developing world. It is told through photographs and originally appeared in the Winter 2017 edition of our print publication Living Unbound.
Navigating their way
Eleven-year-old Stephanie and her mom, Joy, cross the Almacen River every day to go to school and work. Located in the Bataan province in the Philippines, the Almacen is typically 18 to 25 feet deep, but in heavy rains can overflow its banks and flood nearby homes. The boat ride takes 10 to 15 minutes, and Stephanie walks another 10 minutes to school. While she and her mom have grown accustomed to the boat ride, the risks of this mode of travel remain.
A harsh hill to live on
As of 2015, 20 percent of Peru’s population lived below the national poverty line, according to the World Bank. For residents of the Manchay community, located about two hours southeast of Lima, it means living in slum housing on a dusty hill, in an area that sees little rain and little development. Residents eke out a living as best they can in this arid environment with scant access to public services, such as water and road maintenance.
Breaking the cycle
Mbogo, Elizabeth’s name in the Kikuyu language, means “buffalo” in English. She’s known as the Buffalo Kid in her community near Nairobi, Kenya. She’s also known for taking passengers to and from school and work on her bicycle. Men usually do this physically demanding work, but Elizabeth is strong and determined. She wants her daughter, Mary, 16, to continue her education. “I would not want her to live the life I have lived,” Elizabeth said.
A kitchen of her own
This kitchen in a rental home in Santa Ana, El Salvador, is where Roxana, who works as a cook in a corporate cafeteria, makes meals for her family. A propane tank, partially in view right of the stove, provides fuel for cooking. The sink is outside. Roxana’s youngest son, Jose, 17, is sponsored through Unbound. Jose wants to become a mechanic and buy his mom a house, so she’ll have the stability of home ownership and won’t ever have to worry about moving again.