OGDEN — Some familiar faces will be on HGTV Sunday.
The Barobi family, the first of two Ogden families to receive a new home through HGTV’s show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” will appear in an episode premiering at 7 p.m. Sunday on HGTV.
A watch party will be held that night at Weber State’s Val A. Browning Center at 1901 University Circle. Doors open at 6 p.m., a local program begins at 6:30 p.m., and the episode starts at 7 p.m.
The event is free, but an RSVP is required on the Wadman Corporation’s website, according to the company’s Facebook event. The party is being hosted by Wadman Corporation, Weber State University, Visit Ogden and GOAL Foundation, which all contributed to the effort to build the family’s new home.
The Barobi family will be in attendance at the watch party, said Ashraf, the oldest of four siblings in the family.
“I’m excited because I want to live it again, to see the moment that it happened,” Ashraf said. The family is also excited to reveal the house, he said, since they’ve had to keep the interior under wraps until the episode airs.
“We can’t take pictures inside,” Ashraf said. “But after the show, we’ll be able to take pictures.”
The family is made up of Ashraf and his four siblings as well as their aunt and cousin, according to earlier reporting from the Standard-Examiner. The family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo after rebels killed the Barobi siblings’ parents and sister. The oldest of the siblings, Ashraf, now in his early 20s, became the guardian of his younger siblings when he was only 13.
Prior to receiving their new home, the Barobis lived in a small apartment in Ogden.
Wadman Corporation and the Extreme Makeover team led the effort to build the family’s new two-story home in just one week, with the help of Weber County businesses and volunteers. The home is located at 22nd Street and Adams, and the family saw the home for the first time on Aug. 16, 2020.
For the first three months after moving in, Ashraf said he still worried about having enough money for rent near the beginning of each month. His aunt started laughing, he said.
“She was like, ‘Ashraf, this house is yours. You don’t have to pay rent anymore,’” he said.
The home is paid for, and the family is only responsible for utility bills, insurance and taxes, he said.
Ashraf says his favorite features of the home are the backyard and the front porch.
“I love gardening, so in the back, there is some gardening for me,” he said. “I’m so excited that I’m going to garden ... this summer.”
He also has plans to spend time on the front porch, enjoying the fresh air and taking in the views, he said.
The community rallied around the Barobi family, giving them much more than a new home. They received a new car from God’s Garage and the Washington Heights Church, among other supports given to the family. Weber State also extended four-year scholarships to every member of the family on the day the new home was revealed.
Ashraf and his younger sister, Azida, will both be starting at Weber State in August, he said.
“I want to thank the community of Ogden,” Ashraf said. “They have changed my life.”