The number of homes Habitat is able to build each year is determined by fundraising, volunteer participation and ReStore revenue. That’s right, every time you shop at the Restore, the money helps build more affordable homes for low-income families right here in Albuquerque.
Over the past 5 years $1.4 million in Restore revenue has furthered our mission and made home ownership possible for dozens of families. In honor of ReStore’s contribution, one of the homes in the Mesa del Rio development has been named “The House that ReStore Built”.
About the Family, Ahmad and Brishna
Ahmad was born in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. When he was 11 years old, a bomb was dropped on his home and Ahmad sustained major injuries to his body and lost three fingers. His father and sister did not survive and his family was devastated. Ahmad’s mother struggled for years to raise him on her own, making sure he was safe and received an education.
Brishna was born in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. The Taliban used violence and intimidation to enforce a strict way of life on those who lived there. As a woman, Brishna faced an even greater opposition at the hands of the Taliban, who denied any form of education to women and would throw acid on the faces of girls who tried to go to school. Her family decided they must leave their home and flee to Kabul, but during the travel her father passed away due to heart issues, leaving the family in mourning and without a father or husband to help provide for and protect the family.
Ahmad and Brishna met in Kabul and got married. After having their first son named Ali, Ahmad began working as a driver with the US Military. On December 17, 2012, he was at work when a suicide bomber crashed through the walls of the headquarters with a tank and exploded. For the second time in his life he survived a bombing, but had to watch those around him suffer. After this, Ahmad’s mother told him to take his family and leave Afghanistan. She said she could not bear to lose him.
In 2014, Brishna and Ahmad along with Ali and their second son, Salik, escaped to India, but unfortunately had to leave his mother and other family members behind. Once in India, they were there for 50 days before receiving a visa to Ecuador as asylum seekers. They lived in Ecuador for a year and a half. It was an interesting and challenging time; they did not speak Spanish and struggled to find work. Though Ahmad found a part-time job at a restaurant, he still had to cook food in their home to sell on the streets for extra money.
On October 12, 2016, their family moved to Albuquerque after receiving official refugee status by the United Nations. “Now that we are in the United States, we feel safe and secure for the first time in our lives. We have been able to develop our finances, prepare our kids for school, and focus on establishing a happy and healthy life for ourselves,” said Ahmad. Both Brishna and Ahmad have found jobs and just recently welcomed a daughter, Afah, into their family.
“We are grateful for the new opportunities that we have had and to be able to put our pasts behind us and focus on having a successful future here in Albuquerque. We are thankful for all the help we have received from various people and organizations, including the opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build a house for our family,” said Ahmad.