This week, Creators of Hope looks at how building homes for Jamaica’s rural poor improves the public health of the country as a whole.
When we think about what home provides for us, one of the things we think about immediately is the sense of physical safety we experience when we have a place of our own. When you step into your house at the end of a long workday, do you notice yourself relaxing right away?
Think about how necessary it is to be able to relax that way, and how beneficial it is for your body. Now, on the other hand, think about how exhausting it would be if you couldn’t get that kind of peace and quiet at the end of each long day. Think about how your body would react. Stress weakens the immune system so that illnesses can’t be fought off effectively. By building homes for Jamaica’s vulnerable people, and giving them relief from constant physical and emotional stress, we’re combating the effects of that stress on people’s bodies, and helping support their health.
Home is also the place where you can control your environment. You can keep your home clean and dry and maintain the temperature where it’s comfortable for you. You can take shelter from bad weather, so that you aren’t exposed to the elements. If you’re not feeling well, you can limit your exposure to other people, so that you don’t spread your germs or pick up new ones while your body is weak. Minor illnesses stay minor when you can take good care of yourself.
In all of those ways, your home is an essential resource when it comes to maintaining your own physical health. Now imagine if you couldn’t take shelter from wet or cold weather, and the effects that would have on your body. Think about what could happen if you had something as minor as a typical cold, but you couldn’t take care of yourself, rest in a comfortable place, or keep your environment dry and clean and safe. Think about how quickly, under those circumstances, your minor cold could get much worse. Think, too, about how quickly sickness could pass from person to person, in a group where everyone was worn out, stressed, and exposed to tough environmental conditions.
We at Creators of Hope know how important home is to keeping people healthy. We believe strongly in the value of helping people to improve their circumstances and build better lives, both for themselves and for their communities as a whole. Find out how you can help us, and visit the blog again next week to learn more about how building homes changes a country’s future.