Amir* lives in a small subdivided unit (SDU) in Jordan with his wife and their three young daughters – eight, six and two years old. They have been in this unit for six years and are recipients of the pest control services offered by Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong. When our team visited them in August 2023, the need for such services was clear. This SDU was over-run with cockroaches, causing a hygiene risk especially for a family with small children. Cockroaches are known carriers of bacteria and contaminate surfaces as well as food.

When meeting and speaking with Amir, he appreciated the regular pest control services offered, describing his interactions with Habitat staff positively. He felt comfortable and as though he was interacting with family friends. Amir’s overriding message was striking in its simplicity: despite any hardship he may face, he loves his home, because it is his children’s home. This is where they are together.

“Home is not just a building. When I come home, I open the door and the first thing I see is my children playing in the living area. It doesn’t feel like a building in an area full of construction, it is where my children are. I love my living area because they play here.”

 For many of us with young families, our living room is our sanctuary. It is where we witness small miracles, like our babies taking their first steps or speaking their first words. But more often than not, our living room is where we experience the mundane – repeated rituals that punctuate our daily lives. Breakfast, homework, a story before bed. The feeling of coming home at the end of a long day and opening the door to our children playing, just like Amir.

*A pseudonym has been used to ensure confidentiality.