Ernest and Sylvie’s story began in the Dominican Republic of Congo, where everyday life was a struggle to survive. They moved to Zambia looking for new opportunity, but the struggles continued. In Africa, families have to pay for children to attend school and they were concerned for their five children because they couldn’t afford their education. After 11 years of living in a tent, Ernest and Sylvie made a hard decision to move to Alaska as refugees to make a better life for their family. The day that Earnest and Sylvie thought would never come, they received a letter stating they were officially U.S. citizens.
If you have every met Ernest and Sylvie, you know that they are compassionate and determined to provide a better future for their family. They Kalumba’s heard about Habitat for Humanity from friends who are Habitat homeowners. In fact, they volunteered sweat equity hours towards two of their friends when they were building their house. The Kalumba’s have seen first-hand how the program works, which inspired them to apply. The day that Ernest received the call that their family had been selected as a partner family, he went home to tell everyone. The children immediately asked, “Where is the house?” Homeownership, to the Kalumba’s, will mean having a safe and security home for the whole family.
The Kalumba’s have made Alaska their home and they plan to live in Alaska the rest of his life.
“We are safe in this place,” said Ernest.