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The roof has collapsed at Emna’s mum’s place and they need help to fix it.

Emna and her husband Julio live in Havana with their two young sons in extremely modest conditions. My life partner, Annina, has known Emna since she was a girl, which is why we’ve become involved. In addition to Emna and Julio supporting their own lives, they also provide the only means of support for Emna’s mother and grandmother. After the last wet season, Emna’s mum and grandmother experienced the disaster of their roof collapsing. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but their kitchen and bathroom were pretty much destroyed. This would be tough for anybody, but for Emna and her family, it’s a catastrophe!

The quote they’ve been given to repair the roof is 2000 Swiss francs: just for the materials, which represents the entire family income for several years. The government doesn’t offer any help, so they are in a desperate situation. Literally without a roof over their heads.

Through this channel, we hope to raise the money for them so they can fix their roof and go back to some kind of normality in their lives. Raising the money themselves is simply impossible. 2000 is an astronomical sum in Cuba. It’s a large amount for us as well, but if we can spread the load across a group, we can hopefully keep things manageable for everybody. We’ve never done a crowdfunding action before, and wouldn’t be asking now if we could think of another way.

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My project is special because we're helping people who live pretty tough lives

Emna’s family has had a lot of bad luck in the past. Her dad died young and her grandmother is blind. They don’t have a lot of income: even by Cuban standards. But she and Julio make the best of what they have and do a great job raising their two boys. This project of financing the new roof is simply too much for them on their own.

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We need support in raising money for the materials to repair the roof.

The first challenge is to get the money to Emna and Julio in the first place, but we have a reliable and safe way of doing that. I’d rather not go too much into detail.

Once the money is there, they can start to buy the materials. There are no hardware stores there, so everything has to be bought using connections and cash. They have the support of an architect who is volunteering to give expert guidance in the construction and advice on buying the materials. It was the architect who gave the price estimate on the materials. The work will be done by themselves and their friends, some of whom have building skills, who will come and work for free.