ROANOKE, Va. – Wednesday marked the end of a journey.
WSLS 10 partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley, generous community sponsors and The Journey FM to help a deserving family in the area experience the joys of homeownership as a part of this year's Home for Good - The Apostles Build project.
Wednesday afternoon the Ayamba family officially received the keys to their new home.
"Well it's very incredible that we're here on the porch of the house, of the new house," said Mwenebatu Ayamba, the oldest son of the family of 14, as WSLS 10 broadcast the family's home dedication live. "It's very exciting and I'm really happy for this."
War forced the Ayamba family from their home in Central Africa. They moved to refugee camps in Tanzania and Mozambique before getting an immigration letter from the United States four years ago.
Mwenebatu said his family initially settled in Florida but found it to be too expensive. They resettled in Roanoke in 2016 with the goal of building a better life through homeownership.
The Ayambas are now a family of 14, with 12 children ranging in age from 1 month old to Mwenebatu, who is the oldest at 25.
This year's Home for Good -The Apostles Build project also added more than 20 area churches as partners.
This year's build was uncharted territory for Habitat for Humanity because it was the Roanoke chapter's biggest new construction project ever.
"Our family is larger than average, and we have a seven-bedroom house for this family," said Brian Clark, construction director.
"I think it's easy to forget that with a house this size, how much more work is involved," Clark said. "If you think about some of our single-story, like a three-bedroom house or something, this is almost double that. So in that sense, you're basically taking two houses and stacking them on top of each other, and so it's easy to forget there's that much more work."
This marked WSLS 10's fifth Home for Good project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.