Ayamba family working toward American dream through Home for Good project

Family immigrated to US from Congo in central Africa

By Brittny McGraw - Anchor

ROANOKE, Va. - This year marks the fifth project WSLS 10 has done in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and generous community sponsors.

The family that will move into the house being built on Loudon Avenue as a part of the Home for Good-The Apostles Build project recently settled into the Roanoke Valley.

"We are from Congo. It is a country in Africa," said Mwenebatu Ayamba, the oldest child of the family that will move into the home in August.

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.

"America is a country with opportunities and it helps people to get their goals," Ayamba said.

Ayamba said his family initially settled in Florida but found that to be too expensive. They resettled in Roanoke in 2016 with the goal of building a better life through homeownership.

"They think it's going to be amazing, especially my young brothers," Ayamba said. "They always ask me, 'When is it going to be? When is it going to be the day that we move to a new house?'"

The Ayambas are now a family of 13, with 11 children ranging in age from 2 to Mwenebatu, the oldest at 25. 

The Ayambas are permanent residents in the United States and they have made school a top priority.

"The dad's goal for every one of those 11 children is a good education," said Jean Darby, family services director for Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley.

Ayamba said this is his family's chance to live the American dream.

"This is my house and this is where I belong and this is where I'm going to live all of my life, so it's the best place," Ayamba said. "It's very exciting."

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