Habitat for Humanity, volunteers prepare Sharpsburg house for family

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

When Issa Ndayiragije and Beulme Ndikumana move into their new Sharpsburg home later this year, they'll be able to thank Habitat for Humanity and a team of volunteers.

Volunteers helping out the Greater Pittsburgh branch of the nonprofit used their 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance to work on the remodeling of a home along Clifton Avenue in the borough.

Habitat for Humanity bought the house in 2011.

Nicole Zeak, community outreach coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, said the home was sold to the organization as a way for the previous owners to give back to the community.

“It was a beautiful home,” Zeak said. “It was in really great shape, which is why things have been going smoothly so far.”

The home had been used as two apartments.

As a result, the bulk of the work that needed to be done was to convert the building into a one-family home.

Ndayiragije and Ndikumana have four children who will be living at the home.

The family came to the United States in 2009.

Ndayiragije and Ndikumana and their children are from Burundi in Africa. They spent most of their lives moving through refugee camps.

Zeak said the couple have been working with Habitat for Humanity to repair the home and are eager to move in.

“They've been a great family through the process,” Zeak said. “They're very, very excited to get into their home.”

Derek Morris, volunteer coordinator for the organization, said by working on the home with volunteers, the family members are learning what it takes to maintain their new home.

“They will have those skills and that experience. They will be able to take care of those issues,” Morris said.

Volunteers from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, KDA Group Inc., Dollar Bank, Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience, Trane, Traveler's Insurance and St. Andrew's Church were among the groups who sent volunteers to help during the day of service.

Zeak said the home should be finished next month, with a dedication planned to welcome to family.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513, or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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