Aug 17, 2013
KNOXVILLE - On Thursday, August 15, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity dedicated the house built with the help of the Tennessee Volunteer football team and the Haslam Family Foundation.
Head Coach Butch Jones, select Vol players, and Jean Damascene Nkurunziza and Drocella Mugorewera's family took part in the dedication ceremony at 919 Anniversary Lane.
Also appearing at the dedication was VFL Fuad Reveiz, a member of the Knoxville Habitat board of directors.
"We feel blessed to participate in the program, and we will bless others by respecting the contract with KHFH and being good citizens and good neighbors," said Drocella. "Our home will be always a place of love, peace, and joy. Thanks be to God who made our dream a reality, and thank you to all our friends for the encouragement and all kinds of support and kindness."
The Vols, as a part of the VFL Program, took part in the building of the house every Saturday in the months of June and July.
ABOUT THE FAMILY
Drocella Mugorewera and Jean Damascene Nkurunziza embrace opportunity, regardless of the challenges. A former member of the Rwandan Parliament, Drocella found herself in East Tennessee as a refugee, absent her husband and five children.
Forced to reestablish her life in a new world, Drocella relied on faith as she mastered English, learned to drive, committed to a church, and began working at Goodwill, all while uncertain of what the future would hold for her. Drocella did not know if she would see her family again, but she was committed to creating a better life for herself and for them in the hopes that they would join her in the United Sates.
Reunited, Drocella and Jean are now enthusiastic future homeowners. Their five children, nieces Yvette Kayumba, Arlette Mugeni, and Olga Kayumba; daughter Svetlana Nkurunziza; and son Patrick Nkurunziza, are all enrolled in college, and Jean is currently a student at the University of Tennessee.
Jean's family is thankful for the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers for the "excellent job they are doing." Jean and Drocella understand the value of homeownership and look forward to investing their money in a mortgage, rather than rent. Drocella calculates her rent expense over the past four years as totaling $30,000.
This Thanksgiving, the family plans to host more than twenty guests in their home "with much fun, dance, and songs" which is a celebration that would not have been possible in their apartment. Drocella promotes environmental protection and conservation. She hopes that all homeowners will work hand in hand to keep Silver Leaf subdivision clean for local and global sustainable development. "We all need fresh air. We appreciate KUB for their tree planting efforts."