• 10 Oct 2017

A Word or Two


We have been given much so that we can give a hand to others in need. When I was a young boy, we had a cloth hanging on the wall which had the following words. “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again”. On a daily basis, you have a tremendous privilege and opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many South Africans who have no decent shelter. You can make a difference by partnering with Habitat for Humanity South Africa.

Our mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope and our goal is to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. We do this by facilitating the giving of skills, energy, time and resources of individuals and organisations for the benefit of low income communities.  Adam Grant in his book “Give or Take,” describes ‘givers’ and ‘takers’.  According to Grant, on the one hand takers “have a distinctive signature: they like to get more than they give. They tilt reciprocity in their own favour, putting their own interests ahead of others’ needs”. On the other hand, givers “prefer to give more than they get and are other-focused, paying more attention to what other people need from them”. He goes on to say that ‘givers’ and ‘takers’ “differ in their attitudes and actions toward other people. If you’re a ‘taker’, you help others strategically and only when the benefits to you outweigh the personal cost… If you’re a ‘giver’, you simply strive to be generous in sharing your time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and connections with other people who can benefit from them”.  Are you a ‘giver’ or a ‘taker’?

There is much need out there and so few givers. Please partner with us should you want to give your energy, your skill, your financial resources or your time.

In this edition of ‘Habitat Huddle’, we share some of the activities that you can support, including the stories of 27 orphans in Khayelitsha who live in abject poverty. As Habitat SA working with our partners, the People’s Environmental Planning (PEP) and Baphumelele Orphanage Centre we started a process of upgrading their shacks. The upgrading entails building concrete slabs, insulating, partitioning, fixing the leaks and repairing the windows and doors.  Life has taken so much from these kids. Help us to help them. Giving is life changing, taking is life sapping.

Patrick Kulati,

National Director, Habitat for Humanity SA