Imaginations ran wild in Inglewood yesterday when children were given the chance to build their dream homes out of Lego.
The activity was run by Habitat for Humanity Taranaki to coincide with worldwide Habitat Awareness Week.
Habitat administrator Denise Cooper said it had been a good opportunity to educate children and their parents about those who were living in unsafe conditions around the world, and locally.
"It's interesting to see what they created and to find out what the kids would want to have in their homes," she said.
They had an hour to construct their homes which were then photographed and entered into a national competition that will be determined by online voting.
Jacob Fletcher, 13, made his design up as he went, and was excited by the final product.
"It has a good yard and I like the roof because I would be able to see the stars at night," he said.
Brodie White, 13, said his house was full of the latest technology which would be great for learning, while Ashton Fletcher, 11, wanted something that incorporated art, pets, and a big living space.
"It's cool because there's a big statue in the middle, and there's some pet frogs, and there's lots of room for the family to spend time together," he said.
Throughout the activity, Jacob said he learnt the importance of helping people who didn't have a safe place to live.
"It's pretty sad," he said.
Habitat New Zealand has supported 518 families in New Zealand and 340 families overseas into safe, decent and affordable homes, while the Taranaki branch has built 29 homes around the region.
Mrs Cooper said it was nice to see how a safe, healthy home could improve people's health, as well as inspire them to reach their goals.
‘"When you see things like that, that may not have happened if they didn't have a nice home, then it's very satisfying," she said.
Mother of four Emma Richards has been living in a Habitat house for four months and said prior to the move they had lived in a damp and mouldy home which meant they were often very sick.
"With the prices of homes, trying to find one that's healthy and affordable is a bit of a challenge. We're just absolutely grateful," she said.
Habitat Taranaki hopes to set up a second-hand store in the near future that will help fund the construction of more homes.
The Lego building challenge is on again today at Inglewood's Mamaku Centre.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should the NPDC councillors get iPads?Related story: Tech-wary councillors hedge their bets