STORIES OF CHANGE:What a Nostos home means for displaced families of Malawi

Ethel Chamba, a single mother of 3 living with a chronic illness who lost her home in Cyclone Gombe, on receiving her own Nostos home told the Habitat officials, “Having a home of my own now allows me to once again believe that life can get better. My children can finally have some peace in their lives”. 


Despite her young age of just 20, Esther Munyowa has experienced many setbacks and difficulties. Shortly after a divorce, she lost her home due to Cyclone Gombe and since then has no place to call a home for her and her three young children. She relies on small-scale farming and piece works to feed her family. She felt like all her prayers were answered when she saw her new Nostos home. With a strong and secure home, she can now take care of her children’s healthcare and education needs. 


Merise Kengere is an 82 year old woman from M’mala village in the district of Phalombe. As an elderly woman with no stable income and surviving with the help of well-wishers, she hoped and prayed that the cyclone would spare her home. But, to her shock and dismay, Cyclone Gombe partially demolished her home. Merise had no financial means to rebuild it, she had no choice but to continue living in the house with missing walls and half a roof. Further, she is also hosting her four grandchildren whose home was also demolished. Merise longed for a home she could spend her old age comfortably in, without worrying about intruders or where to go when it rains. She has now moved into her new Nostos Home, and has found that comfort and peace she was longing for. 


Enneles Maliyo, is a 64 year old woman living with her 70-year-old husband and grandchild. The family depends on pierce works and small-scale farming. The family was affected by Cyclone Gombe which damaged one part of the wall of their home. With no financial means to fix the house, they continued to live in the same house which was damaged. Their new Nostos Home is everything they had wished for and the elderly couple is extremely grateful they have a safe home they can raise their granddaughter in. 


32-year -old Mwatitha Fulayela, from Njobvu village in the Phalombe District, is married with four children. They lived in a home constructed with unburnt bricks, and a grass thatched roof. The house was ventilated poorly. During the 2022 cyclone, ground water broke through in one of the bedrooms, making the house inhabitable. Due to the floodwater, the house developed big cracks and gaps in the walls. Even after the flood water receded, the house walls were very unstable with a very serious threat of collapsing, posing risk to their lives. The young family has now moved into their new Nostos Home, they no longer have to go to sleep every night anxious if the walls will cave in, killing them in their sleep. A huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders, they are finally happy. 


Belita Chamba, is a 26 year old woman from the Mwango village in the Phalombe district. Belita is married and has three children. The family lost their house due to Cyclone Gombe, and they are currently living in a shack with walls constructed using grass. The family was overjoyed when they realised they would be receiving a Nostos Home.