After a 5-year partnership with Habitat, the Ning Chings have settled on their home to become first time homeowners! Originally from Myanmar, the Ning Chings were forced to flee due to the country’s violent military regime. Fearing for the safety of his family, Cung Tha Uk Ning Ching made the decision to say goodbye to his home, family and friends and to travel across country to Thailand. Once in Thailand he then went on to Malaysia and from there was able to reconnect with his wife. “It was very hard,” Ning Ching remembers, “as we didn’t have passports, which made it an incredibly risky journey.” When they arrived in Malaysia they were able to receive help from UNHCR and were given refugee status. “I was very lucky.” Ning Ching remembers. “I was interviewed by New Zealand immigration and then after a very long interview process me and my family were accepted as refugees to New Zealand. I came to New Zealand with my wife and my sons in 2007. When we came to NZ it was a big change for us.” After going through the New Zealand Refugee Resettlement Programme, the Ning Chings were relocated to Nelson to start a new life as New Zealand citizens. The Ning Chings rented for many years living in a number of homes that were cold and damp, negatively impacting on their family’s health. “Our old house was really cold, we were always cold, especially in the winter and didn’t get much sun.” Ning Ching recalls. After hearing about Habitat’s Assisted Home Ownership Programme through a friend, the Ning Chings decided to go along to one of Habitat’s Information Meetings to learn more. Ning Ching and his wife filled in an application form and two months later they were officially selected to become one of the next Habitat partner families! Five years later, the Ning Chings have purchased their home from Habitat and have gained stability and security for their family. “We live in a nice neighbourhood now and it gets a lot of sun which has been really good for our health. It’s also a great area for our children. My boy can walk to college now as it’s really close. It’s been just amazing. We finally feel settled.” By partnering with New Zealand families such as the Ning Chings, Habitat’s Assisted Home Ownership Programme helps to provide strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter for families who would have otherwise been locked out of the housing market.
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